Charles Greener

Charles Greener (1870-1935) was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin and moved to Hand County, Dakota Territory (South Dakota) with his family in 1883. Greener settled in Faulkton, South Dakota in 1890.

He displayed an interest in art as a youth, and received formal training at the University of North Dakota, at the art colony in Galesburg, Illinois, with Anson Kross in Boston, at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts, and with J.H. Kaumeyer in Minneapolis. He maintained a studio in Faulkton until his death.

The South Dakota landscape was Greener’s first love and he produced hundreds of paintings of the prairie in Faulk County. Dramatic sunrises were of particular interest to the artist.

Greener received critical attention for his portraits of Governors Frank Byrne and Charles Herreid and United States Senator J.A. Pickler, all in the State Capitol at Pierre. He was one of only two South Dakotans included in the First Northwestern Artists Exhibition of 1915 at the Saint Paul Institute in Minnesota. Even greater attention came from a 1928 commission from the Young Citizen’s League of South Dakota for the painting, Looking Towards Washington, presented to President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge to commemorate their 1927 vacation in the Black Hills. Their son, John, donated this important work to the South Dakota Art Museum in 1983.

The South Dakota Art Museum preserves 53 works by Charles Greener and a substantial archive on the artist.