C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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Ed Kopietz was born in the small town of Everest, located in the northeastern corner of Brown County, Kansas.  While he was a child his family moved to Wichita and this is where Ed grew up and attended school.  When he was in high school his interests in art were encouraged by his teachers and he worked as a member of the art staff of the school annual.  It was also during these years that Ed became acquainted with C.A. Seward.  By the time they met Seward had  also co-founded the Southwestern School of Art and by 1910 had become the Manager for Capper Engraving.  Seward recognized Ed’s skills and encouraged him by giving him small free lance assignments. They continued their association when Seward left capper and once again opened a free lance design office and exhibitions space, the Seward Studio in 1920.  A newspaper clipping from the Wichita Eagle introduces a description of an exhibition of their work as follows: “C.A. Seward and E.M. Kopietz of the Seward Studio, 314 Sedgwick Building, will have an exhibition of the (sic) work in the display windows of Devoe and Raynolds, 127 North Market, this week.  The exhibition will include a decoration by Mr. Kopietz which is especially adapted for music room; a painting entitled “October,” and a portrait.” 

After graduating from high school Kopietz continued his studies with Elizabeth Sprague who headed the art department at Fairmount College (now Wichita State University) During this time Kopietz’s work also caught the eye of Ed and Faye Davidson and with their financial assistance he left Wichita in 1920 to attend the Chicago Art Institute.  His talents were also recognized at the Art Institute for within three years he was offered a teaching position at the Institute’s school. During this time Kopietz and Seward continued their friendship for he is noted in the list of those attending the celebration dinner for the founding of the Wichita Art Association in January of 1921.

By 1928, Kopietz received an offer to join the staff at the Minneapolis School of Art. The following year he became the director of the school, a position he held until his retirement in 1950. After his retirement he opened his own studio and provided design services for various Minneapolis companies including several professional publications such as the American Medical journal.  Later he became an art director of the Augsburg Publishing House, a company in Minneapolis founded in 1891, which by this time had become the publishing arm of the Lutheran Church.

Kopietz’s invitation to become a Charter, Founding Member of  the Prairie Print Makers group was described by him as being mostly honorary. Although he was interested in the work of other printmakers, he produced only a small number of prints.  Most of Kopietz's known prints are lithographs. A wood cut dated 1937, in a private collection, is not a technically competent as his lithographs. Separated by distance from the core group Kopietz did not participate in the group after its initial stages. In two of his three known prints, Kopietz either signed or initialed the plate within the image.  In print, however, the letters are reversed, suggesting the experimental nature of these pieces.

Primarily a painter, especially of water colors, Kopietz  never entered a print in the competition at the Minnesota State Fair or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He did however, win honors for his work as a painter including; at the Minneapolis Art Institute, watercolor honorable mention, and second award in painting in 1929; watercolor honorable mention in 1930; first award in painting in 1935; first award in watercolor,  second award in gouache, third in watercolor in 1943. He won the gold medal at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1935.  His subject matter was primarily based on his Czechoslovakian heritage as well as his travels to the New England states and Mexico.  His work is included  in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Wichita Art Museum, and the McPherson, Kansas, Municipal Collection. During his career he also created murals at Nokomis Junior High School and Burroughs School in Minneapolis.


1900, Everest, Brown Co.,Kansas

1988, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Chicago Art Institute

Professional Positions & Honors:

Charter Member - Prairie Print Makers

Gold Medal - Kansas City Art Institute

Director, Minneapolis School of Art

Director, Augsburg Publishing House


Edmund “Ed” Martin Kopietz, 1900-1988

Sources: Images - Wichita Center for the Arts and  “In the Catalina Mountains,” 1948 oil painting - Dabakan Fine Art. Lithographs - “Hillside Houses,” “Hilly Farm 2” and “Chores” Crump, Robert L., “Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul (2009):120. and “The Prairie Print Makers”, Barbara Thompson-O’Neill, George Foreman & Howard Ellington, 1981. Spangler, “Survey of Serial Fine Art Exhibitions in Minnesota.”

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