Martyl, Perryville Station
Martyl (Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf) , Perryville Station, 1940
Martyl (Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf) (born 1918)
Perryville Station, oil on canvas, 1940
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

St. Louis native Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf is the daughter of artist Aimee Goldstone Schweig and photographer Martin Schweig, Sr. Her mother gave her the name "Martyl" to use as her artist's signature. Martyl's art training began early, at her mother's side, and this included summer trips to the art colony in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, where the mother and daughter painted with artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Joseph Vorst, Joe Jones, Oscar Thalinger and Bernard Peters, among others.

Martyl generally worked from sketches made on site which she then developed into paintings in her studio. She felt that to make a work powerful "you have to know how to paint what you leave out." This selective quality of creating her compositions is revealed in Perryville Station, where the lone station house in the foreground seems entirely separate from the distant buildings, despite the receding train tracks that connect them.

Expand Your Horizons Art colonies existed throughout the United States and played an important role in our nation's cultural development. Click here to learn more about the Ste. Genevieve Art Colony.