Bernhardt Wall (1872-1956)
Where: Cornwall Bridge
When: circa 1930
Wall, known for his postcard illustrations and etchings, was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1872. He studied at the Buffalo Art Students’ League, and then moved on to study in New York. Wall began a career as a lithographic illustrator in 1889, working primarily as a commercial artist in New York and Buffalo.
Wall moved to Lime Rock in the 1920s. Though he never lived in Cornwall, Wall was active in Cornwall and in November 1929 he organized the Covered Bridge Preservation Association to save the covered bridge in Cornwall Bridge from destruction. As a result of the Association’s efforts, repairs were made to the bridge and it remained open to pedestrian traffic after the concrete replacement bridge was completed in late 1930. Unfortunately, in 1936, due to flooding, the bridge was washed down the river and never replaced.
Wall maintained studios in Salisbury, California and Texas, and was active until the end of his life. Wall died in California in 1956.