Vol. 14 Luxembourgers in the United States: John (Jean) Noerdinger

Jean Noerdinger, was a Luxembourg-American painter and sculptor.

He was born on January 3, 1895 in Nagem, Luxembourg to Michel Noerdinger and Catherine Roeder. After graduating from the School of Arts and Crafts in Luxembourg, Noerdinger studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, France, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and the Weimar Academy of Fine Arts, Germany.

Following his graduation, Noerdinger passed his master drawing exam in Luxembourg and was appointed lecturer at the Athénée de Luxembourg, then at the gymnasium of Diekirch.

He was one of the main representatives of the “Secession” movement in Luxembourg, which had broken with the Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg, and introduced modern art to the Grand Duchy.

In 1925, the 30-year-old Noerdinger emigrated to the United Stated and settled in Chicago and eventually in River Forest, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. He became American citizen and changed his name to John. Noerdinger became an accomplished artist and sculptor in the Chicago art scene. He was especially known for his landscapes and portraits which were commissioned by well-known Chicagoans, and worked in the advertising industry as well.

In 1933-1934, he co-founded the international exhibition a Century of Progress in Chicago. This was the second world’s fair that Chicago had hosted. The Century of Progress exhibition ultimately came to symbolize hope for Chicago and America’s future in the midst of the Great Depression. A Luxembourg Day was celebrated at A Century of Progress on July 28, 1834.

Various of Noerdinger’s works appear in the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg City and in the Museum of the City of Esch. Two of his paintings can currently be seen in the virtual exhibition The Museum at Home

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