1906 to 1979

In 1959, Art Digest called Charles Surendorf II one of the top twenty-five woodblock artists of the world. He was a man full of life who sought expression through the unique technique he practiced. In this section, his life is covered through his 73 years. Content is available to contributing members.

Charles Surendorf was born in Richmond, Indiana, November 9, 1906 and passed away in his home in Columbia California May 28, 1979 with his friends and family by his side.

Studied at:

  • Chicago Art Institute
  • Art Students League, New York
  • Ohio State University
  • Mills College - teacher (Summer)
  • Several private instructors.

Studios and Residences

His studios and residences at various periods include

  • Logansport, Indiana
  • Culver, Indiana
  • Richmond, Indiana
  • Chicago
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wabash, Indiana (start of his WPA experience)
  • Tahiti
  • New Orleans
  • Coachella, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Columbia, in California.


Surendorf was a member of many art societies, including

  • Co-founder of the Mother Lode Art Organization
  • Director of the first San Francisco Art Festival in 1946.

He organized the first outdoor art show in Washington, D.C. and Palm Springs, California, and served as Judge of many art exhibitions, including the California State Fair.

Internationally Acclaimed

Surendorf has exhibited in important art shows since 1928. His work has been shown in most of the nation's leading museums and galleries in New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and New Zealand. Surendorf additionally lectured and demonstrated before numerous art leagues and societies.

The Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, Smithsonian Institute, and Library of Congress, DeYoung Museum, California State Library and numerous other museums, galleries and private print collectors own large selections of Surendorf prints.

All other prize winning prints are still available in galleries but none have been in print since 1978. Prints were numbered up to 500 copies and printed in editions of 100 each. After the numbered copies were exhausted a print was still published, unnumbered, until the quality of the original block stayed unblemished. All prints were individual hand impressions and the entire process of making the original print executed solely by the artist.