Today’s featured photo includes two views, both taken in 1888 by Louis Palenske, of his good friend, artist, August Ohst. August Ohst was born in Ratzeburg, Germany in 1851 and came to America in 1880, studying art in New York City before moving to Alma, Kansas in 1883.
Ohst spent the next half-century practicing his trade in Alma. Well known for his still life oil paintings, Ohst’s paintings ranged from portraits to rural scenes. Ohst also painted building interiors and was proficient at creating stenciled designs on homes, churches and businesses in Wabaunsee County. Ohst lived on the west edge of Alma on West 3rd Street in his early years in Alma, and in later years he boarded at Bertha Eck’s home on East 3rd Street.
Ohst produced the portrait, “Nixie Simpson” for his close friend, photographer, Louis Palenske in 1925. The Nixie Simpson painting is a rare example of an Ohst portrait. Simpson was a local lad who, along with his father, Bill Simpson, were good friends of the Palenske family.
Ohst was a prolific producer of art during the fifty-six years he lived in Alma, Kansas.