IMHOFF STUDIO AND FARM SITE
The Imhoff Studio and Farm Site is a Provincial Heritage Property. It is located eight kilometres south of St. Walburg in the RM of Frenchman Butte. The property consists of a 3.2 hectare parcel of land that features an artist's studio, farmhouse, barn, and other ancillary buildings. Symbolizing the province’s artistic and cultural development, the heritage value of the Imhoff site lies in its association with the life and work of Berthold Imhoff, an internationally renowned artist who settled in Saskatchewan in 1914. Born in Germany where he studied painting at various academies, Imhoff immigrated to Reading, Pennsylvania in 1892 where he set up an art studio. Specializing in frescoes, murals, and biblical scenes, Imhoff established himself as a decorator of churches, opera houses, theatres, banks, movie houses, and large residences. In 1914, he relocated to northwestern Saskatchewan, where he lived and painted until his death in 1939.
It was at this studio that Imhoff produced much of his artwork, including still lifes, portraits of early First Nations chiefs, European leaders and royalty, and American presidents. Well-known for his religious artwork, which he painted for little or no pay, Imhoff's work appears in over 90 churches and cathedrals throughout Canada and the United States. His dedication to the church was recognized by Pope Pius XI, who honoured Imhoff with the Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1937. Upon his death in 1939, Berthold Imhoff left over 250 paintings in his studio, some of which remain there today while others are on display in a gallery in nearby Lloydminster.
The Imhoff Studio and Farm Site was constructed in two stages, the first section, built in 1920, was a basic rectangular-shaped building with Bavarian overtones evidenced in the decorative roofline and exterior frescoes and murals. A large, 1925 addition became the artist's main working area.
Sources: Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, July 26, 2004 and Province of Saskatchewan, Order to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, November 30, 2004.