Vaclav Vytlacil

American, 1892 - 1984
Vaclav Vytlacil was born in New York City on November 1, 1892. In 1906 he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 1913, on a scholarship from Art Student League, he returned to New York City and studied under portrait painter John C. Johansen.

Vytlacil's first teaching position was at the Minneapolis School of Art from 1916 to 1921, when he traveled to Paris to study the art of Cezanne. While in Europe Vytlacil visited relatives in Prague and decided to settle in Munich, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. At the Academy Vytlacil met two other Americans, Ernst Thurn and Worth Ryder. When Thurn left the Academy to study with abstractionist Hans Hofmann, Vytlacil followed shortly thereafter, and in 1924 the two organized the Hofmann summer school on Capri.

On August 18, 1927, Vytlacil married Elizabeth Foster in Florence. In 1928 they returned to the United States for one year, where Vytlacil lectured at the University of Berkeley and joined the Art Students League. Vytlacil returned to the United States permanently in 1935 and accepted a teaching position at the Florence Cane School in Rockefeller Center, New York City. The following year his only child, Anne Bozena, was born and Vytlacil helped found American Abstract Artists.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwell
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