Franz Karl Bühler, 1864–1940

Bruler1buehler2 (* 28 August 1864 in Offenburg , † 1940 in Grafeneck ) was a German art-fitter and painter. He was honored for his work as a German art smith . He taught for three years as a lecturer at the Straßburger Kunstgewerbeschule . Also known are his works as painters , which he produced in various institutions and published by Hans Prinzhorn under the pseudonym “Fra After his school days in Offenburg, Franz Karl Bühler completed an apprenticeship in the father’s forge workshop. In Karlsruhe and Munich (1886 to 1887) he attended art colleges and was very successful. In 1887, Bühler took part in the ‘competition exhibition’ of German art-work-work, organized by Hermann Götz , with an oven screen, and received an honorary diploma.

In May 1893, Buhler was called to the Straßburger Kunsthandwerkerschule as a teacher for art locksmithery. In the same year, he traveled to Chicago for a world-wide exhibition , where a forged gate was awarded a (gold) medal. After three years of teaching, Buhler was dismissed by the school management. From then on, Buhler suffered from a strong persecution , so that he was placed in Breitenau, the Swiss mental institution. After a short stay, he came to Illenau for two yearsin order to finally be found in the Emmendingen Medical and Care Institution in 1900. There he spent most of his life creating a variety of pictures. These pictures arouse the interest of Hans Prinzhorn in 1919 , which took pictures of Franz Karl Bühler under his pseudonym Franz Pohl in his collection.

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Even more than thirty years after Buhler was “disappeared” in the healing and nursing institutions, his works were exhibited as art locksmiths: “But we also find drawings and works from a time already half a century ago: Regierungsbaumeister Meyer has one thing today still a few Offenburgern known man, the university professor Dr. Prinzhorn set a monument in his standard work ‘Die Bildnerei der Schizophrenen’. Franz Bühler, who has been a mentor in Emmendingen for decades, the son of the late sculptor Buhler, has been a great artist. He was an art clerk, a teacher at the College of Fine Arts in Strasbourg, a writer, a multidilletant. With a unique wrought-iron gate, which, hopefully in Offenburg, will be given a place in the new city park, has earned the greatest honor at the Chicago world exhibition, and he has achieved the greatest success until his mind is incurably wounded. He still works today. His drawings are bizarre, but also from what he still draws and paints as a seventy-year-old, one sees his artistic talent. From his healthy days many a valuable piece could still be saved, it was brought to the exhibition here. A tragic experience will be given to everyone who stands before this work and remembers the personality of Franz Bühler. “(Excerpt from a report from the Badische Press, morning edition of 3 October 1931, 47th edition, no. 459, page 3, of the Autumn Autumn Fair.) 

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