Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Untitled (Broad Center/Gander)Made in United States, North and Central America
Charles A. A. Dellschau, American (born Germany), 1830 - 1923
Watercolor and graphite with collaged pieces of newspaper on paper
Currently not on view
1998-19-31Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1998
LabelCharles Dellschau arrived in the United States from Prussia in the 1850s and seems to have fought in the Civil War. He settled in Texas in 1886 and, somewhat reclusive in his old age, spent his time from around the turn of the century until his death in 1923 depicting images of flying machines, which he called "aeros." He created thousands of colorful, double-sided watercolors of imaginary airships, works that incorporate newspaper clippings about early air travel and are embellished with ornamental borders. He bound these works into a dozen notebooks, which were only "discovered" as they were being discarded in the late 1960s. Because these fantastic imaginary flying machines were conceived so early in the history of aviation, Dellschau is considered one of America's first visionary artists.