Frank C. Eckmair
Mr. Eckmair, who was born in Norwich, in 1930, grew up in Gilbertsville, the son of Frank and Gladys (Cornwall) Eckmair. He spent his early years drawing and working at his parents' hotel. He attended art school in New Haven, and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the State University of Iowa, where he studied fine arts.
After teaching public school in Otsego County, he served in the United States Air Force in Korea, Japan and the northwestern United States. Returning from military service, Mr. Eckmair studied at Ohio University where he received his MFA in printmaking. During his time at Ohio University, he met and insisted on marrying Leigh Chadwick, and running off to Ohio with her. Originally a painter, at Ohio he developed his passion for printmaking and ceramics.
In 1963, the couple moved to Buffalo, where Eckmair became a professor at Buffalo State College. There he influenced a generation of artists, many of whom became close friends. In Buffalo, he was instrumental in establishing Buffalo Prints and Paper. He assisted many other colleges in establishing their own hand made paper mills, widely lecturing and demonstrating the techniques. He was called upon by the Organization of American States to organize a paper mill in Costa Rica, where he also taught the theories and skills to professional artists from 14 member nations.
Eckmair's work received its earliest national recognition through American Associated Artists, a program founded to market affordable fine art prints to the American public. His work is in collections at the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan, the British Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Seoul National Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, the Museo de Arte Costarricense, Pushkin Museum, Vatican Library, Glenbow Museum, the Burchfield Penney Art Center and others around the world, as well as in more than 200 private, college and university collections.
He was showcased in a year long retrospective, one man exhibit at the New York State Museum, "The Landscape of Memory." Officially retiring from teaching in 1995, Eckmair focused his time on his own "work," continuing to draw, carve, print and exhibit. He became the art director for Birch Brook Press in Delhi, and was responsible for wood engraving illustrations of many books and publications. At the time of his death, he was working on several major projects when he wasn't feeding the squirrels or the neighborhood dogs, or having coffee at John's store. He could always be counted on to help out with art work or design projects for school or community organizations.
He passed away in February 2012.