April 27, 2012

Artifact: Watercolor of Loeber parsonage in Altenburg, Missouri

Size: about 8 x 6 inches (click on the image for a larger view)

Date: 1848

Significance: The artist, the Rev. Friedrich Johann Karl Lochner, drew and later painted this scene and gave it to his brother-in-law, Theodor Buenger, and his bride, Martha (nee Loeber), as a wedding present. Visitors to various exhibits at CHI may be familiar with the parsonage image, but most have not seen the full artwork. Surrounding the parsonage scene are names and birth dates of the wedding couple along with their living parents and siblings.

About the artist:

Friedrich Lochner (1822–1902) studied drawing, engraving and music in Bavaria before he changed careers, immigrated to America and became a pastor. He was instrumental in the formation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, served pastorates throughout the Midwest and taught at Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. While serving the church, Lochner still found time to draw and paint, often using early LCMS churches and communities as his subjects.

About the scene:

Pictured having coffee under the mulberry tree are Revs. Loeber and C. F. W. Walther, who was visiting at the time, along with Mrs. Loeber standing at the table. Also pictured are three of Loeberʼs children: Heinrich (standing in the door), Gotthilf (playing with the dog) and Martha (serving coffee).

Buenger and Loeber family members listed around the border (clockwise from middle left):

Theodor (21 July 1821) – groom
Liddy (23 November 1827) – sister of the groom, Lochnerʼs first wife
Emma (21 July 1829) – sister of the groom, never immigrated
Christiana Bünger (10 June 1788) – mother of the groom
Friedrich (2 January 1810) – brother of the groom
Emilie (21 July 1812) – sister of the groom, C. F. W. Waltherʼs wife
Ernst (10 October 1817) – brother of the groom
Agnes (23 July 1819) – sister of the groom
Clementine (5 June 1823*) – sister of the groom
Hermann (1 January 1825) – brother of the groom
Gotthilf (19 February 1835) – brother of the bride
Heinrich (11 October 1828) – brother of the bride
G. Heinrich Löber (5 January 1796*) – father of the bride
S. H. Wilhelmine Loeber (23 April 1794*) – mother of the bride
Martha (27 March 1830) – bride

*These dates do not exactly
match birth dates found in other sources.

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