Conrad Buff

Swiss / American, 1886 - 1975


Born and raised in the conservatism of nineteenth-century Switzerland, Conrad Buff spent a restless youth seeking an outlet for his artistic spirit. His talent would flourish in the majestic landscape and creative individualism of the American West. In the opening decade of the new century, his arrival in California coincided with the flowering of a dynamic movement in American art. Sketching and painting en plein air, Buff was inspired by the grandeur of the High Sierras and the drama of the wind-sculpted desert. In a long and prodigious career he bridged the coloration and brushwork of impressionism with the abstraction and structure of modern art. (Source: The Art and Life of Conrad Buff, by Libby Buff, George Stem, Will South) In the 1920s, a Los Angeles art critic wrote, “Conrad Buff comprehends the enormity of the West. More than that, he adds thereto a discernment of the stylized and conventionalized forms in which the West abound. Not one artist in a hundred grasps the significance of the West’s dynamic forms.”


Selected Collections:

Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery

MOA at Brigham Young University

Laguna Art Museum

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art