Edward J. Strobl was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 25, 1896. He was the oldest of four children, including his brothers Lou, Jack, and sister Irene. The family struggled on a tailor's wages, but Edward showed interest in chemistry, and was inducted into the Army by 1918, in that capacity.
His talent for "compounding" ingredients according to strict guidelines would serve him well both during and after World War I. By chance, he was assigned to a unit that moved through some of the best agricultural area of France known for the production of flowers for the fragrance market. He apparently embraced the French perfume making processes with vigor and between battle campaigns he managed to acquire considerable skills, recognizing his potential for perfume making as a career.
Eventually through good fortune, he became a friend and later partner to David Bennett, a wealthy perfume and cosmetic magnate, also from Chicago. From the 1930s through the 1960s they ran the American offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Linden, New Jersey for Albert Verley et Cie, Paris.
By the late 1930s, Edward relocated to New Jersey with his family, but his business depended upon a constant source of raw materials from which aromatic chemicals could be created. His travels to many European countries on business allowed his imagination and senses to expand to the visual arts of Europe and his second "avocation" painting, was born in the art museums, studios and villages of Europe.
By the conclusion of World War II, the economy was re-surging and the women of America were making their own purchasing decisions as breadwinners themselves. Perfume, cosmetics and fragrances of the era were created by Edward who was inducted into the American Society of Perfumers. As if success in the creation of the famous fragrances were not enough, he joined the membership of the Grand Central Art Gallery, Biltmore Hotel, New York City as both an artist and patron member, in the 1940s. He and his wife, Helen began collecting art in New York and his beloved "second home" Rockport, Massachusetts.
During his travels to New England he would paint on location with Paul Strisik, John Chetcutti, Stanley Woodward, Wayne Morrell and other important artists of that region.
Edward's paintings evolved under the tutelage of New York society portraitists Walter Klett as well as George Elmer Browne. It is sufficient to say that his patience at the perfumer's compounding table was matched or exceeded by his diligence in creating color and painting medium the old fashioned way. He even experimented with Jacques Maruget's "method" after they prepared a batch of that formula together.
As the youngest of Edward's three sons, i.e. Vernon, Ray and Edward, Jr., I created this website with the dedicated assistance of my grandson Joshua Strobl to commemorate the many talents of my Father, who died in 1988. His beloved wife Helen deserves the credit for giving him the encouragement and freedom to pursue his passion for painting, and most importantly, preserving his art, as his widow up to her death in July, 2008. Thank you Mom.
Now it is up to history to decide the fate of some 200 + surviving works known to exist. They have been dutifully photographed and cataloged for this visual archive. The Strobl family hopes that you enjoy your virtual tour through The Strobl Museum. One final note to any of you who are students of the visual arts, my father would say "Let the joy and spirit of painting overtake you!".
Director, Edward Strobl, Jr.
The Strobl Museum of Art