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Imhoff, Berthold John Von (1868– 1939)

Imhoff Studio and decorative archway.
C. Fehr (Saskatchewan Culture, Youth and Recreation, Heritage Branch)
Berthold John Von Imhoff.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A5648

. Count Berthold Von Imhoff was born into nobility in 1868 in Mannheim, Germany. He studied art, married in 1891, and with his wife Mathilda Johner and their Children left Germany in 1900 to settle in Reading, Pennsylvania. There he established a reputation as a religious artist and fresco painter. In 1913 the family moved to a Saskatchewan farmhouse in the St. Walburg district; free from distractions, Berthold built a studio and began to paint. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, he created massive paintings for many churches, Catholic and otherwise, throughout the province. He became known for his generosity as well as for his art: for example, when he was commissioned in 1918 to decorate the ceilings and sanctuary of St. Peter’s Cathedral at Muenster, he refused payment for the 80 life-sized figures and frescoes. In 1939, Berthold suffered a stroke and died at the age of 71. Some sixty years later, in 1998, the community of St. Walburg erected a statue in his honour. Examples of Imhoff’s works can be seen in churches in St. Walburg, Muenster, St. Benedict, Bruno, Denzil, Reward, St. Leo, Humboldt, Paradise Hill, and North Battleford. His restored studio, near St. Walburg, contains over 200 paintings.

Margaret Sanche, Pat Brassard

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