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John Battenberg papers, 1936-2013, bulk 1950s-2012

Biographical Note

California and Arizona sculptor, painter, and educator John Battenberg (1931-2012) was known primarily for his sculptures of wildlife including wolves, birds, and bears, and was influential in establishing bronze casting on the West Coast of the United States in the 1960s.
Battenberg attended the University of Wisconsin (1949), St. Cloud State College, Minnesota (1954), and Oxford University in England (1955-1957). He received Master of Fine Arts degrees from both Michigan State University (1960) and California College of Arts of Crafts (1964).
Battenberg began exhibiting his work in the late 1940s as a participant in Wisconsin state fair exhibitions. He held had first solo show in 1955 at St. Cloud State College, and had multiple shows during his career including exhibitions at Temple Gallery, London, University of Nevada, Nevada Museum of Art, and the Fresno Art Museum. Group shows that exhibited Battenberg's work included New American Sculpture, U.S. Information Agency (1972), 15th Biennial Exhibit of Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois (1974), Chicago International Art Show (1990), and many more.
Battenberg had several public art commissions throughout his career for projects in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. These projects led to the creation of his sculptures Mystical Bear (1992), Creatures of Nevada (1991), and Flying Pilots (1980). Battenberg's artwork can be found in private collections as well as public collections of the Commune di Pietrasanta, Italy, Royal British War Museum, England, San Diego Museum of Art, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wyoming, and many more.
Battenberg was also a professor of art at San Jose State University from 1966-1985 and subsequently received the title of professor emeritus. He also worked as an instructor at Contra Costa College, California, California College of Arts and Crafts, and New Mexico Western University. Around 2007 Battenberg returned to painting after an injury prevented him from sculpting, and relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona where he remained for the rest of his life.