Artist Name

birth1893 in Rochester, NYPicture of Gruppe
death1982 in Southold, NY
parentsCharles Paul Gruppe, ?
educationRoyal Academy, Antwerp
Art Students League, New York
awards

Karl Heinrich Gruppe was born in 1893 in Rochester, New York. His father Charles was a Canadian-born painter who had spent significant time in Holland where he gained the appreciation of the Dutch Royal Family for his landscape and marine paintings.

Karl Gruppe died in 1982 in Southold, New York.



You can click on the medals to see the reverse.

  • 
    National Arts Club Medal of Honor1951
    by Karl Gruppe
    LA-JM
    Gold-plated bronze

    The obverse bears recessed center field with female holding Greek temple fragment in consideration before rays. Around inner edge of center field, MEDAL OF HONOR. In outer ring, painter's palette, hammer and chisel, oil lamp, and top of Ionic column.

    The reverse bears banner with dedication over laurels. Above and below, THE / NATIONAL / ARTS / CLUB; signed in lower right quadrant, (KG monogram)

    The edge is marked MEDALLIC ART CO.NY

    The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by author and poet Charles De Kay, the literary and art critic for The New York Times. He together with a group of distinguished artists and patrons conceived of a gathering place to welcome artists of all genres as well as art lovers and patrons. In 1906, when the Club outgrew that location, Spencer Trask, a financier, philanthropist and NAC Governor, helped the Club acquire the historic Samuel Tilden Mansion as its new home. The Club still resides at that property which has been designated a National Historic Landmark since 1976.

    The medal measures 62mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The mintage is not reported.

  • Youth of Scout World 1952
    by Karl Gruppe
    SOM-46.1
    Golden bronze with tan patina
    SOM-46.3
    Silver

    This medal was chosen as the 46th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1952. The obverse bears a standing boy scout in 1940s uniform signaling with flags and a kneeling scout with binoculars. Around, BUILDING TOWARD UNITY / YOUTH OF THE SCOUT WORLD; to lower left, lamp on stack of books; below, KG monogram ©. The reverse bears a defiant eagle striding left over chains.

    The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was produced by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its reported production quantity is 762 pieces in bronze.

    SOM-46.1
    Bronze
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    Golden bronze with tan patina
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 46TH ISSUE 1952-KARL GRUPPE SCULPTOR
    MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE
    SOM-46.2
    Bronze
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    Golden bronze with tan patina
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 46TH ISSUE 1952-KARL GRUPPE SCULPTOR
    MEDALLIC ART CO.-DANBURY, CONN
    SOM-46.3
    Silver
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 46TH ISSUE 1952-KARL GRUPPE SCULPTOR - ONE OF LIMITED ISSUE OF 700
    © MEDALLIC ART CO. DANBURY, CT. .999 FINE SILVER
  • 
    Perle Mesta 1965
    by Karl Gruppe
    KG-PM
    Bronze

    The obverse bears Perle Mesta's bust facing half-left. Above, PATRIOT DIPLOMAT PHILANTHROPIST; to left, PERLE MESTA; to right, KG monogram. The reverse bears the seal of the state of Oklahoma. Above, OKLAHOMA'S AMBASSADOR / TO THE WORLD; around seal, GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA - 1907; below, APRIL 22 / 1965.

    Perle Reid Mesta (née Skirvin) (October 12, 1889 – March 16, 1975) was an American socialite, political hostess, and U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg (1949–1953). Mesta was known as the "hostess with the mostest" for her lavish parties featuring the brightest stars of Washington, D.C., society, including artists, entertainers and many top-level national political figures.

  • Plaque of Hugo Delmar at age 14

    Hugo Delmar at Age 14

  • Plaque of Hugo Delmar at age 16

    Hugo Dalmar at Age 16

Contact me if you have links that might merit inclusion on this page.

Books & Articles

American Art Medals, 1909-1995 by David Thomason Alexander
David T. Alexander's book can be purchased at the above link. Highly recommended for anyone interested in SOM. I am deeply indebted to him for all the information I used to document the SOM medals on this site.
Blue Heron Fine Art Blog
Post about an exhibit at Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA, where four sculptures of Gruppe were on display.

Research Archives and Websites

The Gruppe Gallery
Short family biography by Karl's son Robert.

Museums

Spencer Museum of Art
The University of Kansas Museum of Art has one of his "Building Toward Unity" Society of Medalists medals in its collection.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian collection has another one of his "Building Toward Unity" Society of Medalists medals.