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George Joseph Seideneck Biography
~An accomplished artisan and teacher ~
Won recognition as a portraiture, photographer and landscape painter
George Seideneck was born in Chicago, Illinois, of Czechoslovakian descent. The Seidenecks were architects who for two hundred years built castles in Bohemia.
As a youth, he had a natural talent for art and excelled in drawing boats on Lake Michigan. Upon graduation from high school, he briefly became an apprentice to a wood engraver. He received his early art training in Chicago at the Smith Art Academy and then worked as a fashion illustrator. He attended night classes at the Chicago Art Institute and the Palette & Chisel Club.
In 1911 Seideneck spent three years studying and painting in Europe. In England he studied with the Canadian painter, Harry Britton, under whom he developed a penchant for portraiture. In Paris he co-founded the American Art Club with a small group of expatriate Chicago artists. In the fall of 1912 he studied in München under Walter Thor and Carl von Marr at the Royal Academy in Munich. When he returned to Chicago he taught composition, life classes and portraiture at the Academy of Fine Art and Academy of Design.
He made his first visit to the West Coast in 1915 to attend the P.P.I.E. (SF). Seideneck again came to California in 1918 on a sketching tour renting the temporarily vacant Carmel Highlands home of William Ritschel. While in Carmel he met artist Catherine Comstock, also a Chicago-born Art Institute-trained painter. They married in 1920 and made Carmel their home, establishing studios in the Seven Arts Building and becoming prominent members of the local arts community.
In 1924 the Seidenecks sailed to Europe. After extensive travels through France, Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain they returned to Carmel in January of 1927.
In 1929 they bought 34 acres in Carmel Valley and built their own home. George did all the carpentry, woodwork and brick flooring. It was a combination of their decorative skills and crafts and was a showplace of ceramics, wrought silver and copper, and became a bit of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Carmel Valley.