Many muses inspired the artwork of Henry Koerner, especially the gilded Baroque architecture of his native Vienna, Austria. Koerner’s portraits of famous people, commissioned by Time magazine, burnished his reputation. He refused to work from photographs and insisted his subjects sit while he sketched. This meant that he met everyone from Barbra Streisand to Nelson Rockefeller and Maria Callas to then-U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy.
According to Jeremiah William McCarthy, Chief Curator at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, “In recent years, major museums have started to collect him again,” adding that the Arkansas-based Art Bridges Foundation, established by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, purchased a seminal Koerner painting titled “The Pigeons.”
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, established in Los Angeles by filmmaker George Lucas, also owns a Koerner artwork.
“There is now a renewed interest in his work that you can see solely by the market,” McCarthy said.