FAQ & Details

------   RECENT  DISCOVERIES    -------

The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader,  printed in December 2014, contains a detailed list of all the drawings known at that date,   Since then, the following drawings have become known.

The Property of William and Susanna Yeagly. South Lebanon Town. 1883

The Property of John H. and Mary Yeagly. South Lebanon Town. 1883

Residence of George and Sarah Werner, Marlboro Tp. Stark County Ohio. 1887.

[Residence of ] Solomon and Lucy Gottschell, Cairo, Stark Co. Ohio, 1887 !

Residence of Wm. J. and Eliza E. Mathie.  New Berlin. Plain Twp Ohio 1887
Pleasant View Farm No. 526

Residence of Henrÿ and Priscilla Heisa, Jackson Tp: Stark Countÿ Ohio. 1888.
No. 602 

Francis X. and Theresa M. Whitman. Doyleston. Wayne Co. Ohio. 1888
No. 629

The Property and Residence of Benjamin Doll, Perry Tp. Stark Co. Ohio 1891
No. 781

The Residence of Mr.and Mrs. Peter Graber, Richville Stark Co.Ohio 1891. 

Homestead of Levi J. and Lucinda Warner, Marlboro Tp: Stark  Co: Ohio.
No. 920

The Residence of William and Sarah Gilbert, Barryville,Stark County 1893
No. 927 

Adolphe Lincke's Farm, no. 919, circa 1893
Adolph Lincke's Homestead, no. 898, circa 1892
The  owners of the first drawing #898 were not aware of another similar drawing of their ancestor's farm.   It is our hope that  owner of the second drawing #919 will be inspired to contact us so we can discuss the stories connected with these two drawings.

That first Lincke drawing #898 is not dated; however, based on its place in Brader's numbering sequence, probably it was one of the last he made in 1892 before entering the Stark County Infirmary in 1892, stating his residence was Marlboro.  He left the infirmary in May 25, 1893

The first known drawings in 1893 are in Marlboro township, and are #907and # 908.   Interestingly, 907 and 908 are another pair (the only other pair known) and also picture a schoolhouse in the lower right corner.  These two drawings 907 and 908 are of the Lamielle farm which was only about 3 miles away from the Lincke farm.

There are notable differences in #919.  In that later drawing children play in the school yard, a woman walks with a pail from the barn, cattle graze in the mild, pigs are in the pen, the trees are bit larger and fuller, there are 2 men talking in the road.

The Lincke farm was on Smith-Kramer Road farm in Marlboro Twonship, and just to the east, on the same road was the Warner farm.  The Warner property is clearly shown in the background of both Lincke drawings, and was drawn by Brader in 1892 and numbered #892.  Below is a picture of the Warner drawing #892, which you can see shows the very same buildings and land as are shown in the background of the Lincke drawings.

Detail from Property of Levi I. and Lucinda Warner, Marlboro Tp: Stark Co: Ohio, no.892,  circa 1892 ((30- 1/2 x  47 5/8 in.) 
The Warner farm was directly east of the Lincke farm.
The buildings shown are the same here in this drawing #892
 as they are in the two Lincke farm drawings, #898 and #919.

Another Marlboro Township drawing cataloged!
Property of Levi I. and Lucinda Warner, Marlboro Tp: Stark Co: Ohio,
no.892,  circa 1892 ((30- 1/2 x  47 5/8 in.) 
---------  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  ---------

Are there any drawings available for sale now?

Drawings are occasionally sold at public auctions—advance notice will be given  on this website as soon as possible.   

David Wheatcroft,  American Folk Art specialist and authority on Brader's drawings,  tells us that he has 3 drawings available:

Residence of Peter and Louise Lamielle Harrisburg, Stark Co: Ohio 1886.
Residence of Henrÿ and Priscilla Heisa, Jackson Tp: Stark Countÿ Ohio. 1888.
Residence of Joseph and Elizabeth Long, Wadsworth Tp. Medina Co. Ohio.

The drawings of the Lamielle and the Long residence are pictured on pages 155 and page 79 in the monograph The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader.  You can see an image of the Heisa drawing on the first page.    David Wheatcroft can be reached at 508-366-1723. 

What was the occupation of Ferdinand's oldest brother Alois Brader?
Alois Brader was a successful business person (as one would say today), owner of the village mill and bakery, certainly one of the more wealthy people in the village. As such he was also acting like a bank which didn't exist then,  lending money (giving a credit) to people. 

Being a respected citizen he also acted in political functions. As Ammann, sort of a village mayor, he signed contracts with neighboring villages to about sharing the cost for infrastructure improvements to the water supply and the roads. For some years he also presided over the church council.  (Genealogical research by Wolf Seelentag, PhD.)

Who was William Tanner?
Born 1824 in Basel, Switzerland, William Tanner and his family briefly lived in Cincinnati, Ohio before joining the early residents of Alliance c1866. William built the building at 202 North Freedom Avenue in Alliance, Ohio, often referred to as the “Castle” because of its originally domed, tower like entrance, after he became interested in the Swiss Singing Societies formed by the early Swiss settlers in Ohio. These societies would get together and hold singing competitions. Some of these societies still exist today.    
(Research by Richard Baith)  
The Salem  (OH) News published a story on February 13, 1896, stating that Brader "learned of the death of William Tanner who resided in Alliance and for many years had been his most intimate friend."

Was Ferdinand Brader born  December 7 or December 8?
Ferdinand Brader was born on December 7, 1833. He was baptized on December 8, 1833.

Detail from the 1891 drawing #817  Canton Fertilizer Co. Plant.
Courtesy of the Stark County Historical Society
Click article to enlarge print.

S. Clayton Pennington's editorial in the March edition of the Maine Antique Digest, page 3-A

Maine Antique Digest March 2014, page 32-D
from Lita Solis-Cohen's report of the Ralph  Esmerian  sale
Read the entire article HERE.

Two Stark County farm drawings displayed at the Canton Rotary Club meeting 12/6/13
Residence of Isaac and Barbara Markley, Plain Town, Stark County, Ohio 1887
Detail of the Markley house
Markley house in an 1890s photograph
Markley house today

This drawing of the Lamielle residence was also shared with the Rotarians 
Residence of J. Lamielle, Marlboro Tp. Stark County Ohio 1893
An example of conservation treatment 
by McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory

BEFORE: Overall discoloration of paper; water stain along bottom of paper;
vertical dark stains caused by open splits in the frame's original wood back
AFTER:  Aqueous treatment has removed a good amount of the discoloration.
Black spacer has been installed along the edge of glazing.

Aqueous treatment


Bob Lodge and Gina McKay are known nationally for the excellence of their work at McKay Lodge FIne Arts Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin Ohio (440) 774-4215

Bob, why are these drawings slowly turning so dark? 
The sometimes extreme discoloration, or browning, of the papers sheets on which Ferdinand Brader drew would have multiple causes. For one, though they may vary in manufacture according to his local buying, it may be assumed that these sheets of “cartridge paper” were all made from wood pulp, perhaps varying from the crudest mechanical grinding of wood to a suitable pulp to more sophisticated chemical treatment and pulp cooking processes. Thus, at the start, the papers were, we can say with certainty, acidic. Acids in paper eventually destroys paper.
Are there other contributing factors?
For some of the sheets at least, Ferdinand Brader apparently supplied outside acids by “sizing” his finished drawings with a brush wash of buttermilk – this having a pH reading of acidity as low as 4.4. and an upper common limit of 4.8.
What about those wood back boards?
The next attack on his papers was the common 19th century framing method where the back of a framed paper art work was closed with very thin pieces of knotty, rough sawn, wood. Often that wood, which is acidic, was in direct contact with the back of the paper.
So, the acid is destroying the paper. Is there any way to stop that?
Fortunately, both the browning of most papers and some of the accumulated acids are water soluble and if the surface media can withstand aqueous treatments, removal of undesirable brown color and some of the acids can be accomplished at once. Such aqueous treatments provide the dual benefit of removal of acids that would continue to degrade the paper and the removal of some extent of the browning.
What can an owner do?
For survival, every discolored Brader drawing needs to undergo aqueous treatments for the removal of accumulated acids. This is not something everyone may be able to afford. Those who do nothing leave their Brader drawings on a path of destruction. Minimally, a darkened Brader drawing should be kept in the dark, in a cool and low humidity environment, and off the floor and in an active area to discourage silverfish.

Professor c. Richard Beam said "One cannot overestimate the importance of these drawings".   
I certainly agree on the importance of these drawings in Americana. That's why this is the first exhibition I have financially supported.


Steven Espenshiedcurator for the Lake Township (Ohio)Historical Society has been instrumental in locating the actual sites depicted in the drawings in his township.   On a recent field trip with researcher Tiffany Atkinson, the actual sites of 10 Lake township drawings were explored and photographed.   Here are some of the highlights of that research in Lake Township.  
There is a  log cabin in  the far upper right corner of drawing #482
The Property of Jacob and Elizabeth Huff, 1887

The log cabin as Brader drew it in 1886.
The log cabin as it stands today, 127 years later.


Detail from the drawing The Property of Georg L. andAnna Maria Reiniger, Elsace Town, Berks Co. Pa 1882.
Image courtesy of a Private Collector.
Georg Reiniger established this six acre vineyard in 1863.  The hillsides are planted wirh grapevines.  To the right of the stone house is the building that contained the wine press and wine cellar.
Information from the 1986 Brader in Berks exhibition catalog by Theodore Mason Jr and Beulah B. Fehr..

A detail from the drawing The Property of Mahlon and Sarah Knabb, Oley Town: Berks County, Penna 1882!
Image courtesy of a Private Collector.
The proud farmer with his fine horse is one of the recurring images which Brader  used in his Pennsylvania drawings. The frisky little dog also appears in Ohio drawings.
Charles was four years old in 1890 when Ferdinand Brader made a large and beautiful drawing
of his family farm in Nimishillen township, Stark County, Ohio.  Brader made this small birth remembrance for Charles and another for his sister  Fanny Emma.   There are many similar  small drawings which survived over 120 years, but only a few can be so positively connected to the larger farm drawing they accompanied.

A Bird House and a School House 
from an Ohio drawing of a Marlboro Township residence

Here is an interesting detail.  Have you ever seen anything like this little house in this tree?   Is it really a birdhouse?  Please let us know your thoughts at  kwieschaus@aol.com
NEWS FLASH:  Susan Mckiernan just emailed "There was a birdhouse like this in Weymouth, Medina County, Ohio until a few years ago when it rotted away and the remains blew down. It had colored paper glued on the windows to replicate stained glass.".....thanks Susan!

Brader usually included neighboring buildings in his farm and residence drawings, so that we often  see churches, schools, neighboring farms.   This school near the square of Marlboro is such an example.

Children in Brader's Drawings

This image, courtesy of the Historical Society of Berks County,
is a detail from the Residence of Franklin & Kate Fisher

This image, courtesy of the Historical Society of Berks County,
 is a detail from the Brader drawing Mount Hope Mills.
Detail from George Dilger Brewery  drawing
courtesy of Canton Museum of Art


The Amazing Story of Ferdinand Brader's Quilt
Detail of the white-on-white Bride's Quilt
drawn by Ferdinand Brader
One day over a hundred years ago, a Swiss man knocked on the door of a modest home in a village in Osnaburg Township, Ohio.  He was hungry and offered to draw something in exchange for a meal. The woman did not have a large farm to be memorialized, and so she and the Brader came up with another idea. The artist covered a whole piece of white cloth with delicate floral wreaths encircling stags and deer, and in the center drew a pair of clasped hands.   His beautiful drawing on a cloth was saved until the time approached for the marriage of the woman's daughter marriage.  The mother and daughter together carefully and lovingly quilted his amazing drawing.  The daughter, now in her ninth decade, passed this beautiful quilt on to her daughter along with her story of the Swiss man who came to her mother's home in the 1890's and left this beautiful legacy.

A Barnyard Scene
The Philadelphia Museum of Art provided this detail image of their recently acquired Brader drawing of the Stout farm in Berks County.  Here one can notice the observer in the barn door.  This image, long believed to represent the the artist himself, appears frequently in Brader's  Pennsylvania drawings.
This detail from 
The Property of Jacob and Mary Stout, Bern Town, Berks County
Ferdinand A. Brader
Graphite on tan wove paper, 1880
Sheet: 29 15/16 x 51 13/16 inches (76 x 131.6 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund, 2012 

The Train Story
This image, which is here by courtesy of the Massillon (Ohio) Museum, is a detail from the 1886 Brader drawing #471 Property of Daniel and Margareth Horn, Nimishillen Twp, Stark County.   PFW&CRR Pittsburg- Fort Wayne-Chicago route essentially linked Pittsburg to Chicago and was often referred to as the Ft Wayne line of the PRR
Trains appear frequently in Brader's drawings.  In fact, in the 146 Ohio drawings now cataloged, you can find 20 trains weaving their way through the rural landscape.   Model train enthusiast Jim Sorenson reviewed the images of these trains, and pointed out immediately "Every one of these locomotives is a 4-4-0" and then proceeded to explain that this designation is used to describe a specific type of American locomotive having this arrangement of wheels, four small in the front followed by four larger and then by none.      

This CLW-RR (Cleveland Lorain Wheeling) train appears in an 1888  Lawrence Township (Ohio) drawing courtesy of the owner.

This train, from an 1888 Wadsworth Township drawing, was part of the New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio Railroad Company,  popularly known as NYPANO.   Image detail courtesy of the owner.
This detail from the Bixler farm drawing courtesy of Denny Baker
To learn more, Jim Sorenson recommends  the reference book American Locomotives by John H. White, Jr.  You can also read more about the 4-4-0 here.  (Thank you Jim , for sharing your expertise and enthusiasm.)


The Cheese Story
 Try double clicking to enlarge the image.
This family is of Swiss descent, and the part of the farm you see pictured shows the Cheese House as the cheese making is underway.  Our visitor explained the process to me, and later said why he loved the Brader drawings is that they so graphically display a way of life that is gone forever.

Here is the story ...the neighboring farmers bring their full milk cans to his great-great-grandfather's farm.  That small house on the lane is the Cheese House, where the milk is cooked in huge pots with the addition of rennet (something from the cow's stomach that makes the milk form cheese curds)  Part of the deal is that the farmers who bring the milk also bring wood for the fire (you can see the pile of wood by the little cheese house)  

Cool water was hand pumped as needed (maybe several times a day) from the coolness of the well and transmitted into the cheese house via the wooden trough you can see in the picture. Inside the cheese house the water flowed into a trough holding the cans of milk received from the farmers.  The cool water cooled the milk and kept it fresh until an adequate amount became available to make a kettle of cheese.  Overflow from the trough was drained into the creek below the cheese house.

The curds were then pressed into big wheels; all the moisture pressed out is the "whey" which is fed to the pigs (quite fat and apparently quite happy).   The big cheese rolls are placed on boards and carried up to the house (you can see a man carrying one on his back).  They aged the cheese in their basement, it takes a while and involves rubbing cheese into surface periodically to form the rind.   Eventually his grandfather would take the aged rolls of cheese into town (Alliance, Ohio) to sell them.

The great grandson said he still has cheese on his table at every meal, just like his ancestors did, only now he buys it, and it is always Swiss Emmentaler, his favorite.

Horse-drawn Wagons
Details from two Brader drawings which are from the collection of  the Canton Museum of Art .  
Beer wagon from drawing #427 George Dilger's Brewery
Apple wagon from drawing #510 Michael & Catharine Kreibuill farm
Mystery Drawings...Where are they?
Many Brader drawings have been sold at public auctions in the past 30 years  or have left their Pennsylvania or Ohio homes.  We hope to be able to study these drawings in preparation for the exhibit and the publication which will accompany it.   Can you help us find these drawings?

#254:  The Property of Miller M. Evans, FOUND!!!  Thank you
#461:  The Residence of Nicolas and Julie Haidet FOUND!!!  Thank you!
#574:  The Residence of Michael A. & Maria Gill, FOUND!!!  Thank you!
#623:  The Residence of J. W. Royer,  FOUND!!!  Thank you!

Brader Drawings Offer Insight to Daily Life in the late 1880's
Three Lawrence Township neighboring farms (Myers, Daler and Hartgrove) were made within a short time period in 1888. Matthias and Elizabeth Daler lived across the road (Route 21) from George and Martha Hartgrove, and the Myers farm joined the Hartgrove farm. (It is captivating to find these sequences in Brader's drawings and to imagine the excitement in the neighborhood provided by the traveling artist.)
Image of #587, the Myers farm, courtesy of David Wheatcroft

Image of  #599, the Daler farm,  courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York City

Image of #600, the Hartgrove farm, courtesy of McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Unusual details from the Wenrich farm drawing
These images of the Brader drawing of the Wenrich farm are here by courtesy of 
the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 

Brader drawings are rich in details, and one sees many farmers working their fields.   
This man in the Wenrich drawing has a unique approach.

Another interesting detail  in the Wenrich drawing is this intriguing device which is shown in the creek  in the lower left corner.   We puzzled over its purpose until Landis Valley Museum curator Jennifer Royer found the answer.  Jennifer discovered that these devices were often used in Pennsylvania farms to scare the crows away from vegetable gardens

 © 2017  Center for the Study of Art in Rural America, Inc.   All rights reserved.