A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Subject Profile: Martha Black
Berthold Imhoff

In 1914, German immigrant Berthold Imhoff, left a successful fresco business in Pennsylvania and settled with his family near St. Walburg, in northwestern Saskatchewan. Instead of the promise of riches, the 45 year old was lured by the secluded setting where he could devote his time to painting churches and pursuing his favorite passion: hunting.

Fortune turned against Imhoff with the outbreak of World War I, and later, the Great Depression. There was no money for non-essentials like church decorating. Relying on the modest earnings from his farm to support his family, Berthold continued to decorate dozens of Catholic churches across the province, generously donating his time and effort. In 1921, Berthold Imhoff built a large studio on his farm, creating the first art gallery in the remote area.

In 1937, Imhoff was knighted by Pope Pius IX into the Order of St. Gregory the Great for his generosity to the Catholic Church. Berthold refused to slow down and continued to paint everyday in his studio until his death in 1939.

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