John Roeder's SculpturesJohn Roeder (1877 - 1964)
Relocated (incl. Museums)
Richmond, California, 94804, United States
The Richmond Art Center website lists their visiting hours as Wed-Sat 10am-4pm
About the Artist/Site
John Roeder moved to Richmond, California with his family in the 1920’s after emigrating from Luxembourg to America in 1909. Following his stint as a pipefitter for the Standard Oil Refinery, Roeder found work as a gardener at Richmond Union High School from 1928 until 1947, . The gardener spent his spare time fostering creativity by creating paintings and concrete sculptures. Roeder’s concrete creations began as an extension of his passion for gardening. The sculptures, ranging from figures to buildings, decorated the carefully crafted garden surrounding Roeder’s Richmond home, providing both visual interest as well as a playground for children. Roeder turned towards painting after gradual visual impairment left him mostly blind. The artist, a devout Catholic, cited a vision of the Virgin Mary as the impetus for his failed sight. Roeder’s faith is reflected in his painting subject matter, depicting religious scenes along with landscapes, portraits, and whatever other stories Roeder wished to tell through his art.
Roeder’s paintings primarily reside in private collections, but throughout the years, public showings of Roeder’s art have been staged. First in 1961, Roeder was featured in two exhibitions: a group show followed by a solo show, both at the Richmond Art Center. His artwork has been included in shows across the country, including being shown alongside names like Calder, Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse, and Picasso as part of the Frank and Ursula Laurens collection at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. While Roeder’s paintings are not typically on view and his garden is no longer extant, Roeder’s sculptures have found a permanent home in the courtyard garden of the Richmond Art Center.
~Nikki Ranney, 2023
Rosenak, Chuck, and Jan Rosenak. Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century American folk art and artists. New York, NY: Abbeville, 1990.
Concrete, Pipe and window screen armature,
Map & Site Information
Richmond, California, 94804 us
Latitude/Longitude: 37.9158152 / -122.3390936
San Francisco, CA
Mill Valley, California