Dates: 1937-38

Collection Number: MS 17

Physical Location: Archive Room File Cabinet

Extent: 4 items.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research.

User Restrictions: No restrictions.

Preferred Citation: Correspondence Relating to Frank Buchser, MS 17, Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information: Gift, Reference Division, University of Virginia Library, 1976, August 15.

Scope and Content: Collection contains three letters of correspondence between Jack Dalton of Alderman Library and H. [Henry] Ludeke of Basel University, Switzerland, regarding Swiss painter Frank Buchser, who spent the summers of 1869 and 1870 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Subjects: Artist


Historical Background:

Frank (originally Franz) Buchser (1828–1890) was a Swiss landscape and portrait painter noted for his portraits of notable American figures of the post-Civil War period.

Buchser visited the United States in 1866 and remained there until 1871, spending time in Charlottesville from 1869-1870. He painted scenes of the American plains, portraits of President Andrew Johnson, General Sherman, and the last known portrait of Robert E. Lee. He also painted a series depicting African-Americans. He returned to Switzerland,where he died in Solothurn on November 22, 1890.

Henry Ludeke (1889-1962) published “Frank Buchser–A Swiss Painter in Post-War Virginia.” in The William and Mary Quarterly 16, no. 4 (1936): 502-14. 

Ludeke to Dalton, 2 February 1938, discussed names and faces contained in Buchser’s sketchbook. Names mentioned include G. Kent Drene, Samuel Leach [Leitch], S.W. Porter, George W. Graham, William Hotopp, and Gen. Mahone.

Also mentioned is the flood of the Rivanna River on 30 September 1870.