Canig, Germany 1899
Reston, Virginia 1985
Werner Drewes was born in Canig, Germany, and began studying art in 1920 at the Stuttgart School of Architecture. A year later he transferred to the Stuttgart School of Arts and Crafts. From 1921 to 1922, he studied with Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, and Oskar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus in Weimar. After visiting the United States in 1924 and 1925, Drewes returned to work at the Bauhaus. In 1930 he came back to the United States, where he was introduced by Wassily Kandinsky to Katherine C. Dreier, a founder of the Societe Anonyme, and exhibited his work in Buffalo, New York. From 1934 to 1936, Drewes taught at the Brooklyn Museum under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Project. In 1936, the year he became an American citizen, Drewes joined the American Artists Congress, exhibited at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and helped found the American Abstract Artists group. A member of the faculty at Columbia University in New York from 1937 to 1940, Drewes also served as director of graphic art for the WPA Federal Art Project in New York in 1940. In 1944 he studied printmaking at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17. The following year he taught at Brooklyn College. In 1946 he joined the faculty of the School of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, where he remained until 1965.