Louis Grell Foundation

"Showcasing the Legacy of Artist Louis Frederick Grell"

American Museum of Western Art

Category : Events, News · No Comments May 31, 2015

Indian by Firelight Louis Grell

Louis Grell is represented with Indian By Firelight on permanent display as part of the Anschutz Collection in the American Museum of Western Art in Denver, CO.  The painting sold at Christies NY in 1987 and was acquired by and became part of the collection in 1989.  The museum opened to the public inside the Navarre Building in 2010.

To learn more about the collection or to go visit the painting please click on the link below…


Napoleon portrait sets new auction record for Grell

Category : News · No Comments May 19, 2015

Napoleon by Louis Grell


On May 30, 2015, Wickliff Auctioneers in Indianapolis, IN SOLD this life-size portrait of Napoleon by Louis Grell.

Lot #314, 70″ x 46″ oil on canvas, signed Louis Grell lower right

*SOLD for $4,250 setting a new auction record for Grell.  Estimate was $2,000 to $4,000.


St. Louis Union Station mural re-hanging

Category : Events, News · No Comments April 24, 2015
Conserved "Commerce on the Landing"

Conserved “Commerce on the Landing”  7′ x 28′ oil on canvas signed

St. Louis Union Station will be re-hanging Commerce on the Landing inside the Grand Hall sometime soon.  Everyone is invited so please make your reservations at the renovated Double Tree Hotel which is inside Union Station when we announce the time and date for the gala event.  We look forward to seeing everyone.




Emigration Canon 1907 Utah State Fair

Category : News · No Comments March 30, 2015

Louis 1907 This is the Place mural copyright

Emigration Canon  1907

Commissioned for the 1907 Utah State Fair and hung inside the very large Manufacturers Hall

Opening Day September 30, 1907 Salt Lake City, Utah

During a summer family visit to Salt Lake City, Utah for a week in August, Grell took over a failed mural commission, hired two assistant’s, stayed several months, delayed his return to Germany to attend the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, to complete this very large mural that hung high above the crowds during the Utah State Fair in 1907.  This is Grell’s historical depiction of Brigham Young’s famous discovery and statement, “THIS IS THE PLACE!”  The current location and status of the mural is unknown to us.  The Omaha World Herald reported it was 140′ long and the Topicks magazine by Albert Pick Hotels article stated it was 275′ long.  Grell did his reluctant one interview, by phone, for the article which came out in May 1948.

Notice the nicely framed study used by Grell as a reference.

This is a very rare photo of Grell actually at work on a mural project.  He was 19.

oil on canvas, 15′ x 275′  photo courtesy Dianne & Roger Aveyard

articles courtesy Omaha World Herald

Barry Birnbaum donation

Category : News · No Comments February 3, 2015

February 2, 2015

The Louis Grell Foundation is pleased to announce a significant donation by Chicago resident Barry Birnbaum.  Mr. Birnbaum worked as a photo retoucher for Romano Studio, a photo retouching studio on Ohio Street across the street from Tree Studio. Mr. Birnbaum was good friends with Jim Romano for well over 30 years. 

Jim Romano owned Romano Studio and he also partnered with Tree Studio resident and artist Macena Barton in 1975 after her husband Robert McNeilan passed away. Together Jim and Macena owned and operated Tree Studio Gallery which housed many of Louis Grells paintings.  After Miss Barton passed away, Mr. Romano operated the art gallery in Tree Studios until about 2000 when most residents were moved out.

THANK YOU Mr. Birnbaum

Birnbaum Fredericka gown 600 dpi crop

Birnbaum Indian Lady tropical scene

Birnbaum white chalk jesus wropped Daprato Job #6139 a

Chicago WTTW, Tuesday @ 7 PM, Chicago Tonight

Category : Events, News · No Comments January 25, 2015

WTTW Chicago Tonight Louis Grell Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 9.48.49 PM

The Chicago PBS affiliate, channel 11, is running a segment on Louis and his mural work inside the Chicago Theatre.  It will air Tuesday, January 27th begining at 7 PM during the Chicago Tonight program and will be available Wednesday on their website.


Thank You Marc Vitali, WTTW Producer for putting the segment together.  Also, we would like to thank Dr. Wendy Greenhouse, Javier Ayala from the Chicago Theatre and Madison Square Garden.  Additionally, a special thanks to Richard Fosbrink and the Theatre Historical Society of America for contributions.

Portrait of Anita Kaetzke 1944

Category : News · No Comments November 16, 2014

Portrait of Anita Kaetzke 1944, commissioned by the sitter’s father, a personal friend of Grell’s.  This painting is held in a private collection in Eckernförde, Germany which is 123 km north of Hamburg in the very northern coastal region of Germany near the Danish boarder.  The painting was conserved by a renowned munich conservator, Volker Stoye in 1991.  Many years after it’s1944 Louis Grell Anita 2 commission, Anita transported the painting to Germany where she had it reframed and is now hanging on the wall of the home of the current owner, a close friend of Anita’s.

UPDATE – Since the publication of this painting on our foundation’s website, Anita’s son contacted us and we have put the owner of the painting and Anita’s son in contact with one another.  Both live in northern Germany and once new each other a long time ago.  Anita’s son told us she passed away 14 years ago.  We hope to learn more about this amazing connection made possible through the far reaching prominence of Louis Grell’s career and long lasting relationships that he made over his 55 year professional painting career.

oil on canvas, signed LOUIS GRELL 1944 in red lower left, 79 cm x 71 cm

information and photos courtesy of current owner

Information and photos courtesy of current owner.  Links and family data on the Liebmann’s courtesy of their grandson Dr. Paul Kaetzke

For more information on Harold and Lola please visit  –  http://www.roosvt.com/Liebmann.html

To see a video of Lola and Harold performing one of their famous dance scenes please watch this youtube video.  Their performance begins at about 2:00 minutes into the video  -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snpQpKblrzc

Harold and Lola were friends of many of the artists at Tree Studios in Chicago.


Fond du Lac Wisconsin article

Category : News · No Comments October 25, 2014

Carlos Munoz wrote a wonderful article on discoveries of possible Louis Grell murals in the now torn down Retlaw Theatre which opened on December 26, 1925 in Fond du Lac Wisconsin.  We believe the murals and the interior of the theatre were decorated and designed by Louis Grell for Chicago based Rapp & Rapp Architects.



Please click the link above to read the article.  THANK YOU CARLOS,FDL ArticleScreen Shot 2014-10-25 at 3.37.53 PM   WONDERFUL ARTICLE

Pittsburgh Post-Gassett article

Category : News · No Comments October 24, 2014

October 23, 2014 – Pittsburgh Post-Gasset article on murals, Louis Grell and his work inside the Palace Theatre from 1926 is featured.  A wonderful article by the paper’s art critic, Mary Thomas.  Please see link below…Pittsburgh Post-Gassett Grell muralsScreen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.25.23 AM


Mrs. Thomas plans a follow up article specifically on Louis Grell and our foundations work to preserve his place in American mural history

Magazine coverage

Category : News · No Comments September 14, 2014

Here are some links to recent coverage of the Marquee magazine publication by the Theatre Historical Society of America….What a wonderful story