Jon Crispin's Notebook

Gordon Krieghoff

Posted in Art, ephemera, Family, History, painters, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 16/02/2016

Gordon Krieghoff

I have mentioned my Krieghoff connection before.  Like Cornelius, Gordon was also a painter, and he lived and worked in Detroit, which is where my mom grew up. If I remember correctly, they were contemporaries, although Gordon was somewhat older.  In addition to works like the one above, he was also a commericial artist.

While my family doesn’t have any Cornelius paintings, we do have quite a few of Gordon’s.  There is not much of a market for his work, and there isn’t much information online about his life.  It is possible that my brother or sister know more than I, and they might add something in the comments.  I don’t ever remember meeting him as a child.

When my parents died, we siblings each got several of the paintings.  The frames were in pretty good shape but the mats were yellowed and probably not acid-free.  This is the second one that I have had reframed, and like the first, there was something sketched out on the reverse side of the painting.

Gordon Krieghoff painting

This is clearly the beginning of what was probably an advertisement of some sort.  I know he did illustrative work for some of the larger Detroit companies, including General Motors.  Like many of us, I wish I had more concrete facts about my extended family history.

27 Responses

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  1. marketing4introverts said, on 16/02/2016 at 4:23 pm

    That is very interesting! I had an older friend who owned a statue from Germany after WWII and we tried to find out what it was worth and “what it was.” We eventually found enough information to identify and price the piece. It upped the value of a “treasure” for my friend. I wish you good look with discovering more information. Dhyan

  2. Ashley said, on 22/07/2017 at 7:00 pm

    Jon…I don’t have much information on him but Gordon was my great grandfather.

  3. Kevin krieghoff said, on 07/04/2018 at 1:27 pm

    If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Grandpa & grandma spent there Christmas’s with us all thru the 1960’s

    • joncrispin said, on 10/04/2018 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks Kevin, I’ll be in touch soon. Jon

    • Rhonda Denney said, on 19/04/2018 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Kevin. I have one of Gordon J. Krieghoff’s paintings. It was given to me by David “Cricket” Krieghoff back sometime around 1976. David was in the US Army and so was I. We were good friends stationed in Hawaii together. I am trying to get in touch with David. I want to return this painting to him. Can you help me find him? I appreciate any help with this. I really don’t know how to begin. We lost touch some time around 1979 or so.
      You can reach me at Thank you so much!!

      Rhonda Denney

  4. Mergeculture Gallery said, on 25/05/2018 at 1:43 pm

    Greetings Jon, I came across your site months ago when we were working with artist Chris Clark here in Tampa, FL. We just got around to updating our site with information regarding an opening that Chris had at our gallery.
    Chris was Gordon’s apprentice years ago, he painted a portrait of Gordon, and also has some originals of his.

    • joncrispin said, on 25/05/2018 at 2:21 pm

      Dear Mergeculture, thanks so much for your comment and it is interesting to learn about Chris Clark. The portrait of Gordon is definitely in the Krieghoff style. My family and I have many Gordon paintings and I can see the influence. Wishing you all best, Jon

  5. Patty Morse said, on 15/06/2018 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Jon, also just came across your site. Gordon was a good friend of Eloise and Harold Rounds who lived in Grosse Point. Gordon used pen and ink to design a calendar for Mid-West Hydro-Pierce, a tool and die company founded by the Rounds family. My father in law was the nephew of Eloise Rounds and spent a great deal of time with the Rounds family. Eloise had four sisters, one of them, Alma Starbuck was a breeder of champion Irish Wolfhounds. Gordon painted pictures of three champions. He also painted a beautiful watercolor of a wolfhound reposed on a wall. We also inherited 6 other paintings done by Gordon. Although we never met him- we heard stories about him for years! If you would like to see any pictures, I would be happy to send pics.
    We do have an oriental type watercolor we would be happy to sell. Do you have any idea of where to sell it!

    • joncrispin said, on 19/06/2018 at 8:51 am

      Patty, thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate that you took the time to write. My family too have quite a lot of Gordon’s paintings and we all really enjoy them. I am especially interested in his commercial work and would love to see more of it. / I don’t have any ideas about selling your watercolor, but if you send me a picture of it I’d love to see it. Best and thanks, Jon

  6. Nene Henkel Brennan said, on 24/01/2019 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Jon. I was just looking up Gordon’s name on the internet and came across this site. Ironically, I saw that Patty Morse had also written something. Eloise and Harold Rounds were my grandparents on my mother’s side. They had Gordon do portraits of 6 of our family’s horses. He did a beautiful job. They are hanging upstairs in the hallway of my Mother’s home right now.

  7. Darren Shaw said, on 20/04/2019 at 9:05 am

    Hello Jon,
    I’m very happy to have stumbled across this post! Like you said, there’s not too much information about Gordon online, despite his commercial work.

    My mother was Gordon’s granddaughter. In his later years, he would spend time painting at his little cabin on Clark Lake (about 40 miles west of Detroit). She spent a few summers on the lake with him when she was in school. His works were all over the walls of his daughter’s (my grandmother’s) house for years. Unfortunately, when the house was taken down, the paintings were split in many different directions. I’m particularly disappointed by the loss of a beautifully framed picture of a party at a Southern style manor.

    I’m very happy that Gordon’s legacy continues to be passed down. If you happen to come across any other works of Gordon, I would really appreciate the information. My wife and I would love to hang one of his works in our house, and continue to pass on the legacy.
    Thanks, Darren

    • joncrispin said, on 06/05/2019 at 10:50 am

      Hi Darren, thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry it has taken so long for me to respond. Fortunately my family has a nice collection of Gordon’s works and it is wonderful to have some of them in our house. He was a pretty amazing guy. All best, Jon

    • A.Thomsen said, on 20/09/2020 at 7:02 am

      Hello I have one of Gordon’s paintings. My mother passed away and had wanted me to try to find the family members to pass it along to and I told her I liked it and would like to keep it. But it sounds as if it would be fully appreciated in your home. I am not sure how if at all we are related but I remember it hanging in my grandparents house. Please contact me if you are interested. Thank you.

    • Phil Cox said, on 16/11/2020 at 1:36 pm

      Gordon,s cottage at Clark lake was about 500 feet from where I grew up. Gordon was an older man when I was about 10 years old. My parents purchased several of his paintings which now hang in my home in Toledo. I know a number of people who can give you lots of info regarding Gordon and his relatives who often visits his summer home at the lake. I recall that his primary residence was in Detroit where he worked as a commercial artist for one of the big three auto makers.

  8. Diane Pitcher (Krieghoff) said, on 04/01/2020 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Jon, my name is Diane Krieghoff Pitcher grand daughter of Gordon’s. He was a wonderful man he love to fish with my uncles, golf with my dad and also paint. I have a few of his paintings and also my children have some. It was always fun to go to his home in Detroit it was such a big house. And also go to the cottage on Clark Lake I would watch him as he was painting in his room and ask him questions. I did some painting in high school and hope to get back doing it when I retire. My dad was Daniel who has passed away Was the last one of his children to go 4 years ago. I see my cousin Kevin has emailed you, and my other cousin Drew and niece Ashley. I have a portrait of myself as a little girl that he did. Thanks for the interest in him and his love for painting. Diane

    • Jo Anne Sanford Altom said, on 27/01/2020 at 12:43 pm

      I alwas loved visiting Gordon as a child at Clarklake! Such wonderful memories.

  9. Joanne Altom said, on 27/01/2020 at 12:39 pm

    My family knew Gordon very well. He had a house at Clark Lake Michigan and my family was invited over on several occasions. He thought of my father as a son and treated him as such. We have quite a few of his oils and I have listed as many as possible with the Smithsonian.
    I remember when I was young loving to watch him paint.He was a very darling and interesting man and someone I will always remember along with his very classy and sweet wife. He spoke often about learning to paint from his uncle Cornelius Krieghoff and I also have a book autographed by Cornelius to Gordon. Gordon had always told my father that his paintings were worth $7,000 at a minimum. If he sold them never settle for less. My family has held on to all paintings we have that were dine by Gordon. If you need additional info please contact me.

    • joncrispin said, on 27/01/2020 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks to everyone who replied to this post. I was trying to remember Gordon’s wife’s name. Was it Carus, Carris?

  10. Patricia C Petrovich said, on 22/07/2020 at 1:28 pm

    Yes, it was Carus. I grew up two doors from the Krieghoff cottage at Clark Lake in the 1940s and 50s. Mama Carus and Papa Gordon were like grandparents to me. I was the same age as their granddaughter, Barbara’s oldest daughter. I shared many of the same experiences with the family as already mentioned. They were a very inclusive, social, welcoming family to have as neighbors. I was fortunate to have them in my life and could fill a small book with stories and happy memories.

  11. Marsha Krieghoff Duquette said, on 27/09/2020 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Jon, I can’t believe I found this site. I have researched for years information about my Grandfather. I’m Dan his son’s daughter. I see my sister Diane has a posting as well. I have a few of his paintings and very proud to have them. My younger years were spent at the home on Marlboro and the cottage at Clark Lake. Wonderful memories.

  12. Penny Purves Rogers-Geresy said, on 05/10/2020 at 11:25 am

    Hi Jon…I just spent several minutes writing a response to my finding your blog. AND I LOST IT!
    I am currently updating a book about Gordon (Papa).
    Having lived with them the first eight years of my life
    I have jumped at the thought of updating the first book which was written by Deb Culver. She married in to the family so it was a labor of love…she did a wonderful job!!!
    We were going to collaborate but her health led her to decide she couldn’t do it. There is so much material so it has been a slow go. Chris Clark and I have been collaborating too.
    Will cut this off for now…thanks so much,Jon!!!
    I had lots of fun times at Crispins…loved the area.
    We had moved to Pa. when I was eight.

  13. Penny Purves Rogers-Geresy said, on 05/10/2020 at 11:30 am

    One of his paintings was on Antiques Roadshow.
    I was able to pull it up to see again but haven’t been able to find recently.

  14. Penny Purves Rogers-Geresy said, on 05/10/2020 at 11:35 am

    Hi Jon…I just spent several minutes writing a response to my finding your blog. AND I LOST IT!
    I am currently updating a book about Gordon (Papa).
    Having lived with them the first eight years of my life
    I have jumped at the thought of updating the first book which was written by Deb Culver. She married in to the family so it was a labor of love…she did a wonderful job!!!
    We were going to collaborate but her health led her to decide she couldn’t do it. There is so much material so it has been a slow go. Chris Clark and I have been collaborating too.
    Will cut this off for now…thanks so much,Jon!!!

    • joncrispin said, on 05/10/2020 at 2:51 pm

      Penny. I’d love to chat sometime. Can we arrange a Skype or Zoom?

  15. Penny Purves Rogers-Geresy said, on 05/10/2020 at 3:45 pm


  16. Bill Lewis said, on 26/06/2022 at 7:12 pm

    I own 2 of Gordon’s paintings that I purchased about 15 years ago at a thrift store. At the time I did try to track down some information about him. If I remember correctly he lived in Battle Creek in his early years and may have worked for Gage Publishing. I was told that he liked to paint photographs from National Geographic and I think that might be what my paintings are. I have too registered mine with the Smithsonian.

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