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Karl W. Stuecklen

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SANDGATE -- Karl W. Stuecklen, a painter and illustrator of cooking and gardening books, died at his home in Sandgate, on April 24, 2005, after a long illness. He was 64.

Karl Stuecklen was born in 1940 in Leipzig, Germany. He emigrated to New York City in 1957, where he studied and later taught at the School of Visual Arts. In 1970, Mr. Stuecklen assembled a prefabricated geodesic dome in the remote Bennington County town of Sandgate, where he lived for 35 years.

Mr. Stuecklen’s painting was influenced by German expressionism and his wilderness surroundings. His landscapes of Vermont’s mountains and rivers are filled with striking color and light, and the people in his portraits seem to blend into their forest backgrounds. Mr. Stuecklen had numerous solo exhibitions New York City, including in the NOHO Gallery, New York Six Gallery, the Star Turtle Gallery, and the New York Public Library. He also exhibited his work widely in Vermont. Mr. Stuecklen is perhaps best-known for his drawings. He illustrated many of James Beard’s cookbooks. His illustrations of flowers and plants appeared in books published by Knopf, Viking, Dutton, William Morrow, Viking and in Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek and the Boston Globe.

Karl was a self-taught naturalist and chef who delighted in gathering wild foods for his table. His leek soups, fiddlehead salads, and sautéed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms were legendary. His ability to identify wildflowers and birds was encyclopedic and unerring.

Over the years Karl served the town of Sandgate on the select board, zoning board, conservation commission, and as zoning administrator and health officer. He donated drawings for the covers of eight town reports, and he painted the town road signs.

Karl Stuecklen leaves his wife, the former Jayne Feinberg Stuecklen, of Sandgate; his son, Macheath; and grandchildren Tanner, Gigi and Lily, of New Kensington, Pa.; three brothers, Klaus, of Ryegate, Juergen of Hamden, Conn., and Heimo of Weiler, Germany; and three sisters, Barbara Dintinger of Ueberlingen, Margit Strickler of Bad Bergzadern, and Heidi Brugger of Schopfeim, all in Germany.

There will be a memorial service for Karl on June 11 at the Sandgate Town Hall. Contact: Jayne Stuecklen, 802-375-6649 or 375-8088; e-mail Jayne@stuecklenstudios.com.
Published in Bennington Banner on Apr. 27, 2005
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