The Estate of Roger Merkel


Roger Merkel was born in East Chicago, Indiana in 1949. As a kid growing up in the fifties, Roger was influenced by the work of America's great illustrators. He read books with illustrations by the likes of N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. And, of course, Norman Rockwell's work was everywhere, from magazine covers to toothpaste ads.

Roger worked at U.S. Steel in Gary while attending school and began a career in law enforcement in 1971. In 1973, he became a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia and the following year he was sworn in as Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana, a post that he held for ten years. He then worked for the U.S. Treasury Department as a criminal investigator until his retirement in 1989, when he began painting on a full-time basis. Roger lived in Indianapolis with his wife, Ginger until his death in 2016. Roger remembered being impressed by the artists of his youth, not only by their superb draftsmanship, but with their ability to tell an entire story with a single image. That is a difficult goal to achieve, but it is one Roger set for himself. He particularly enjoyed the challenge of assembling props, models, and costumes to create scenes which evoke other times and other places. He often quipped that “It takes no more time or talent to paint a woman in a beautiful Victorian gown than to paint the same woman wearing a pair of blue jeans.”

Roger has won many significant awards for his paintings. The 86th Annual Hoosier Salon exhibit, 2010, at the Indiana State Museum, awarded Merkel’s War Bride with the Outstanding Oil Painting prize, and Summers in the Hamptons took Best Figurative. Roger Merkel was an artist member of the Brown County Art Guild from 2006 until his passing in 2016. The Brown County Art Guild is proud to represent his estate.

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