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Charles Reiffel

1862-1942
Born: Indianapolis, Indiana

Charles Reiffel was an American landscape painter and lithographer. He was born April 9, 1862 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He began his early career in lithography, working at the Stowbridge Lithography Company in Cincinnati, and later continuing the business in New York and in England in 1891. Reiffel spent six years travelling throughout Europe, working for various lithography companies. As an artist, he was primarily self-taught. During his time in Europe he would sketch and study in various museums and would do commercial art. He also studied portrait painting briefly with Carl Marr at the Munich Academy.

Reiffel returned to the United States, settling in Buffalo in 1904. During this time, he worked as a lithographer but also developed his artistic style, taking more of a modernist approach to his paintings. He became a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, and exhibited with them in 1908, where he won a prize.In 1912, Reiffel purchased a home in Silvermine, Connecticut, commuting to New York to tend to his lithography business. He also became a member of the Silvermine Group of Artists, known as “The Knockers,” and first exhibited with them in 1913.

In 1921, Reiffel gave up his lithography business to paint full time. He and his wife visited San Diego four years later and were so enamored by the city that they decided to relocate there permanently. His Southern California landscapes brought him national acclaim and recognition. He began to establish himself in the San Diego art community and joined a number of local art groups, including the California Art Club, the San Diego Art Guild, the San Diego Press Club, and the Contemporary Artists of San Diego. His paintings were exhibited extensively throughout the final years of his life.

Charles Reiffel died in San Diego on March 14, 1942. Today, his works are included in collections at the Municipal Collection of Phoenix, Arizona; the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.