Artist Biography

1854 - 1937

Henry Raschen was born in Oldenburg, Germany on October 2, 1854. In 1868 Raschen immigrated with his parents to Fort Ross, California and the following year settled in San Francisco. Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began art studies in the studio of Joseph Harrington and when the San Francisco Art Ass'n opened the School of Design, he was one of the first pupils to enroll. He later had private lessons from Charles Christian Nahl and then spent eight years in Munich studying under the masters there. While in Germany he became friends and often spent time with William Merritt Chase and Frank Duveneck. Returning to San Francisco in 1883, he established a studio where he did portraiture and restoration when not making painting forays into northern California (often accompanied by Carl von Perbandt). Although he lived in San Francisco, he often visited the family ranch at Cazadero (Sonoma County) where he painted the Pomo Indians. In 1886 he was in southern Arizona as a volunteer scout and sketch artist with the United States Army in pursuit of Geronimo. After the Apache chief was finally captured in 1894, Raschen became his friend and painted several portraits of him as well as recording the tribal life of the Arizona Indians. The years 1890-94 were spent in Europe where his Indian paintings were in great demand. While in Europe, he taught at the Royal Bavarian Institute of Art. Returning to San Francisco, he again was active in the local art world. After the earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed his Montgomery Street studio, Raschen then moved across the bay to Alameda. He maintained a studio there until financial success allowed him to purchase a large Victorian home in East Oakland at 1635 16th Avenue where he lived and painted until his death on August 24, 1937. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; Bohemian Club. Exhibited: Mechanics' Institute (San Francisco), 1871 (medal); California State Fairs, 1894, 1896, 1898 (medals); Bohemian Club, 1897; Mark Hopkins Institute, 1897-98; Munich Exposition, 1898 (gold medal); Lewis & Clark Exposition (Portland), 1905 (medal); Starr King Fraternity, 1905; San Francisco Artists Society, 1905; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (gold medal). Works held: California Historical Society; Oakland Museum; Frye Museum (Seattle); Bohemian Club; Press Club (San Francisco).

Return to artwork page.