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    Kentucky Folk Art Center

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Hugo Sperger

Born to German parents in Northern Italy in 1922, Hugo Sperger’s family immigrated to America through Ellis Island in 1929. The family farmed in upstate New York. After serving in the Pacific in World War II, he found factory work in Michigan and Indiana. He eventually met and married Faye Reed and moved to her home community near Salyersville. Sperger was diagnosed with cancer in 1970 and battled it for the rest of his life.

Faye eventually bought Hugo some paints to help keep him occupied. He produced hundreds of paintings and woodcarvings covering an outstanding array of subject matter. 

Sperger’s work began to gain attention in the mid-1980s and was subsequently included in several important exhibitions and has been written about extensively.



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