Father of Henry Jr., Julius and Freda Gugler, family of lithographers.
He is very well known for his painting of President Lincoln.
His son, Julius, founded the firm Gugler Lithographic Firm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The firm was still operating until 1966.
Henry Gugler was born in Germany in 1816. At the age of fifteen he began an apprenticeship in the arts, specializing in metal engraving; he would become one of the top metal engravers in Germany. In 1853, Gugler and his family came to America where he did freelance metal engraving. Due to poor economic conditions in America, Gugler traveled back to Germany doing engraved copies of artwork from 1857 to 1859. He then returned to New York to do more freelancing as an engraver. working for several bank note engraving companies in New York City. In 1863 the National Note Bureau of Engraving and Printing hired him as one of their first vignette engravers. While working for them in Washington D.C. he did famous engravings of Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant. His life size steel engraving of President Lincoln would be his most important work and was completed in 1869 after two years of work.
Gugler worked as a bank note engraver in Chicago in 1870. He soon moved to Milwaukee to join his son, Julius Gugler, who was working with Henry Seifert as a lithographer. The three artists went on to form Seifert, Gugler and Company (a.k.a. Milwaukee Lithographing and Engraving). Gugler and his son formed their own firm, H. Gugler and Son, in Milwaukee in 1878. In 1880, at the age of sixty-three, Henry Gugler Sr. died. His son Julius took over the business and continued it as the Gugler Lithographing Co. Today it is the oldest lithographic firm in Wisconsin.
1869 Paris Salon- Paris, France
1978 “Milwaukee Illustrated, 1844-1908”- Milwaukee Art Center
1989-1990 “Wisconsin Artists from the late 19th century into the 20th”- Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
© 6/20/2002 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend,
Wisconsin April 12, 2010