Frederick Krieg (1852-1932)

The Frederick Krieg Drawings and Papers, circa 1885-1975, were a gift from his son, Theodore Krieg, to Avery Library in 1985 and 1989.

Born in 1852 in Grunstadt, Germany, Frederick Krieg and his family emigrated to the United States in 1853, settling in New York City. A self-taught artist, Krieg began working in 1868 as designer of ornamental residential window shades for several companies in New Jersey and New York City. In the mid-1890s, Krieg decided to change professions and became a mosaic designer, working first for the Venetian Mosaic, Marble and Enamel Company, and later for R. C. Fisher & Company, both in New York City. In addition to designing his own mosaic patterns for floors, walls, ceilings and other decorative details for a wide variety of building types, Krieg executed the designs of other artists and architects into paper patterns and oversaw the installation of the mosaics in situ. Krieg retired from R. C. Fisher in 1915 and died at his home in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, in 1932.

This collection contains primarily original drawings, stencils, and color studies for mosaic tile work done by Frederick Krieg for R. C. Fisher & Co. in New York City. Although most of the drawings are for unidentified identified buildings, a small group of drawings are for the Egyptian-themed mosaic ceiling of the main floor of Surrogate’s Court / Hall of Records in Manhattan. Additionally, a small number of window shade design templates, project photographs, and design reference files complement Krieg’s drawings.

Also included in the collection are three photograph albums and ephemeral materials documenting projects and social events associated with Krieg’s son, Charles R. Krieg, a structural engineer working for the Foundation Company, including the Child's Restaurant at Coney Island, Brooklyn, and various bridges in the New York City area. Lastly, the collection contains a small group of papers regarding stone maintenance from Krieg’s youngest son, architect Theodore Krieg.

Researchers will also find a collection of Krieg's window shade designs for Pullman railroad cars in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

Frederick Krieg. Mosaic Floor, border and field design, detail, circa 1890-1915. Frederick Krieg. Mosaic Floor, border and field design, detail, circa 1890-1915.