John Jacob Hegler
Swiss-American, 1812-1856
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Little is known of John Jacob Hegler’s life in Switzerland before he left his father’s mill and emigrated to the state of Indiana in the United States. Though he only began to pursue a serious career in painting upon his arrival, his aptitude for drawing suggested that he had been trained during his time in Europe. In Indiana, Hegler enjoyed success painting portraits. He once placed an advertisement in the paper, for creating “portraits from good daguerreotypes and also from corpses if called upon immediately after death.”

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