American, 1899 - 1985
Signed Drewes, lower left; inscribed and dated with artist’s monogram, lower right
Werner Drewes was born in Niederlausitz, Germany in 1899. He served in WWI and then studied architecture and design in Berlin and Stuttgart. In 1921, he began studying with Paul Klee in Weimar at the Bauhaus. After a period of world travel, he returned to the Bauhaus in Dessau to continue his studies with Klee. At this time, he also studied with the noted avant-garde painter, Wassily Kandinsky. In 1930, Drewes moved to New York where he began teaching at the Brooklyn Museum. He became a U.S. citizen in 1937. In 1940, he was named Director of the WPA’s Graphic Arts Division. In 1945, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy asked Drewes to come to Chicago to teach at the New Bauhaus. From 1946 until his retirement in 1965, he became a revered instructor at the School of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Drewes exhibited widely at most of the major national American museum venues including the Annual Exhibitions of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. His artwork can be found in such major museum collections as the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others. Drewes died in Reston, VA in 1985.