Three original pieces by world renowned artist and United States Sports Academy 1987 Sport Artist of the Year Hans Erni were recently donated to the American Sport Art Museum & Archives on the Academy campus in Daphne, Ala., by the estate of the institution’s late Founding President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich.
The original serigraphs are entitled the “Daphne Series” and were created when the artist visited Daphne, Ala., in 1987 to accept his Sport Artist of the Year award. During the visit, Erni met young art students from the area and conducted a live painting event where he created the “Daphne Series” pieces. After hanging in the Founding President’s personal collection at his home prior to his passing, the pieces are now on prominent display at ASAMA.
Erni was a Swiss graphic designer, painter, illustrator, engraver, and sculptor known for his work for the International Olympic Committee and the Swiss Red Cross. His 1939 works and first major public success was a mural titled Switzerland: “Vacation Land of the People” was commissioned and displayed for the national exhibition in Zürich.
The Hans Erni Museum, situated in the grounds of the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, contains a large collection of artwork, he also designed ceramics and theatre costumes and sets. He did the art for Swiss bank notes, in the 1940s but, after the notes were already printed they were never published, because a member of the State Council of Lucerne criticized that Erni was deemed as a communist. However, Erni was never a member of any political party. In 2004, he was awarded the honorary citizenship of the city of Lucerne. On 10 January 2009 he received the SwissAward for lifetime accomplishment.
In his career, he realized about 300 posters and several murals — including for the 1980 Salon international de l’automobile, Red Cross, IOC, United Nations and ICAO. He illustrated about 200 books and created 90 postage stamps and 25 medals.