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John Baeder

John Baeder is an American Photorealist painter known for his depictions of roadside diners. Baeder's work aims to chronicle the disappearing aspects of American culture. Born on December 24, 1938 in South Bend, IN, he grew up in Atlanta, where as a youth he photographed old cars with a Kodak Baby Brownie Camera. Attending Auburn University in the 1950s, he made frequent trips between Alabama and his family in Atlanta, during these car rides he became fascinated by small towns and vernacular architecture. In 1960, Baeder began to work as the art director for several New York advertising agencies with offices in Atlanta. Eventually, he moved to New York and enjoyed a successful advertising career through the early 1970s. With his office located nearby The Museum of Modern Art, Baeder often visited the museum, where his interest in American culture was spurred by the photographs of Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans. Around this time, he also began collecting postcards of gas stations, motels, campsites, and diners in the late 1960s. In 1972, Baeder decided to pursue a full-time career as an artist and left the advertising field. Over the following decades, he had several solo exhibitions and became an important contributor to Photorealism. The artist currently lives and works in Nashville, TN. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.