Vogt, Fritz G. – American Artist

Pencil on paper drawing by Fritz Vogt, Residence of Reuben Lowell, Richmondville, Schoharie County, New York, 1890, signed

p4A ItemID E8929618
A pencil on paper drawing by Fritz G. Vogt (American 1842 to 1900), Residence Of Mr. And Mrs. Chas. Kinaman, Buel, Montgomery County, N.Y.

p4A ItemID E8919889
Fritz G. Vogt (American, 1842 to 1900), pencil drawing of residence of Mrs. Clarissa Hilsinger

p4A ItemID E8915073
Fritz Vogt drawing, Residence of Stephen Van Valkenburgh, Sharon Hill, Schoharie County, New York, 1891

p4A ItemID E8849878

Fritz G. Vogt (1841-1900)

An itinerant artist in western New York state, Fritz Vogt immigrated from Germany in 1890, where he was born in 1841, and worked primarily in the five counties west of Albany from that time until his death in 1900.

Vogt specialized in architectural portraits and created more than 200 known works, at least 130 of them in Montgomery County. Another 60 drawings record locales in Schoharie County, 15 were executed in Otsego County, while Fulton and Herkimer Counties accounted for an additional six works. His distinctive style is characterized by the use of multiple-point perspective and accurate detailing of the main structures, outbuildings, landscape and, occasionally, figures, wagons, trains, etc.

The earliest known Vogt drawing is dated 19 September 1890 and depicts the Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul’s Church in Sharon, New York. Twenty of his first thirty drawings in 1890 and 1891 were executed in or around Sharon. Like all his later works, these draftsman-like drawings included homes, farms and businesses, all with legends identifying the owner, location and often dates, as well as Vogt’s signature. At least one of theses drawings carries the notation of a $2.00 price on the reverse, but it is believed that Vogt also bartered his works for lodging and board. He is also known to have worked for short periods as a farm laborer and stablehand.

Vogt was involuntarily committed to the Montgomery County Almshouse on August 10, 1898 by the overseer of Minden, New York. Although known to have abused alcohol, Vogt’s application for relief lists rheumatism as the cause of his indigence. He experienced a brief respite in 1899 and was able to complete at least four additional drawings, but relapsed and died early in the morning on 1 January 1900.

Much of the information in this brief note is taken from an article by W. Parker Hayes, Jr. in the 31 May 2002 issue Antiques and The Arts Weekly written in conjunction with an exhibition of Vogt’s work at the New York State Historical Association’s Fenimore Art Museum.

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