Notes from the Director of The Metro Show

Charles A.A. Dellschau’s Fantastical “Aeros”

Caroline Kerrigan Lerch - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New METRO Show exhibitor Stephen Romano presents the fascinating collaged drawings of Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830-1923), who was a retired butcher from Houston, TX. Born in Brandenburg, Prussia in 1830, he moved to Texas in 1850. 

After his retirement, he spent 20 years in his attic producing 12 hand-bound books with more than 2,500 drawings and collages describing his fantastical airships, or “Aeros”, the invention of flight and the Sonora Aero Club, for which he was a draftsman.  Resembling hot air ballons, his "Aeros" were embellished with descriptive text and collage. Areas of jewel-colored watercolor wash give the drawings a stained-glass window effect. Interspersed with the drawings are “Press Blooms,” which are collaged collections of thousands of newspaper clippings describing the political events and technological advances of Dellschau’s time.

After he died in 1923 the volumes remained in the family attic for over 40 years, until 1967, when a fire resulted in the books being dumped on the sidewalk.  An antique dealer spotted them, was intrigued, and bought them for $100.  They remained at his shop until Mary Jane Victor, an art student, discovered them and showed them to Dominique deMenil – art patron and founder of Houston’s Menil Collection.

Some of Dellschau’s books ended up at the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Witte Museum, and the remainder were purchased by a private collector who brought them to the attention of the art world.

DAP Artbooks and Marquand Books will be releasing the first monograph on Dellschau February 23, 2013. This book includes an essay by esteemed art writer Thomas McEvilley (known for his seminal woks on Yves Klein, Anslem Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Marina Abramović, Dennis Oppenheim and many others), and texts by Roger Cardinal of the University of Kent, James Breett of The Museum of Everything in London, Tom Crouch of The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Air and Space, President of the ABCD Art Brut Collection in Paris Barbara Safarova and writer and New York gallerist Randall Morris. See Artbooks website for more details. 

http://www.artbook.com/9781935202905.html


Visit Stephen Romano at METRO, booth 201, to see Dellschau's work in person.

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Charles A.A. Dellschau’s Fantastical “Aeros”

New METRO Show exhibitor Stephen Romano presents the fascinating collaged drawings of Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830-1923), who was a retired butcher from Houston, TX. Born in Brandenburg, Prussia in 1830, he moved to Texas in 1850.    More

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