Donald Baechler

Artist Bio
Donald was born on November 22, 1956 to Quaker parents in Hartford, Connecticut. He was the second of four children. At the age of five Donald made his first painting, a collaboration with his grandmother, Elsie Dolliver.

Donald recalls as a child that he "scribbled on little pieces of paper all day long. Little drawings, 'doodles' and those kinds of things. It was an obsession." On Sundays Donald and his family would attend the Quaker meeting house. This would often be followed by a visit to the Wadsworth Antheneum, an art museum in Hartford. Donald remembers seeing his first Warhol paintings here - an early hand painted soup can and a triple silver electric chair. In 1970, at the age of 13, Donald bought his first art book, Rainer Crone's catalogue Raisonne of Andy Warhol. He was attracted to the comic strip paintings (Nancy, Dick Tracy, etc.) illustrated in the book.

From 1971 to 1974 Donald attended a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia and Quaker summer camp in Maine. While in Philadelphia, he frequently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art (home to the Arensberg Collection of modern art). At 15 Donald declared that he would become a rich and famous artist.

1974-77 Donald studied at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore. It was here that he first met Jeff Koons. At the age of 16 or 17, Donald spent the summer working as a janitor at the Wadsworth Antheneum - a job that allowed him a great deal of time to look at art. In 1977 Donald Baechler moved to New York City and attended Cooper Union. The most influential class at Cooper Union was that of Hans Haacke. It was in Haacke's class that he met two young German artists, Gerhard Nashberger and Georg Jiri-Dokoupil.

Donald lives and works in New York City.

Back to top