Moonrise on the Bay
Oil-on-canvas laid to aluminum panel, signed lower right
Painting: 13 ¾” x 16 ½”
Frame: 18 ½” x 21 ¼”
August Herman Olson Rolle, painter, printmaker and graphic artist, dabbled in many activities before turning his focus to art. Born in Sibley County, MN, in 1875, his first path toward adulthood led him to Red Wing Seminary. Service in the Spanish-American War, eventually lead him to Washington, DC where he became a forestry expert for the Census Bureau.
Once in Washington, Rolle studied at the Corcoran School of Art under Messer, Brooke and Moser beginning in 1905. His specialties were landscapes and seascapes in oil and watercolor, but he also executed dryprints, woodblock prints, monotypes and etchings.
Following the tradition of his day, Rolle was active in many art societies. In addition to helping found the Landscape Club of Washington in 1915, he served as its president for many years. That was just one among a number of affiliations which also included the Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, the American Federation of Arts, and the Arts Club of Washington.
Rolle also exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the old National Gallery, the Maryland Institute and at the Greater Washington Independent Exhibition of 1935. He had a joint exhibition of prints with fellow artist Benson B. Moore at Venable's Gallery in 1924.
Rolle died in Washington, DC in 1941. Today, his work is represented at the Corcoran Gallery, the Historical Society of Washington, DC, and the Arts Club of Washington. A retrospective of his work was held at the Corcoran's 1982 "Washington on the Potomac" and at the National Museum of American Art's 1984 show "The Capitol Image."
Consentino, Andrew and Glassie, Henry. "The Capital Image, Painters in Washington, 1800-1915"
Falk, Peter, ed. "Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975"
McMahan, Virgil. "The Artists of Washington, D.C. 1796-1996"
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