Louis Charles Christopher Krieger



I am very anxious to get back again into mycology, especially into the study of the fleshy fungi. As I told you in my last letter, I was with Dr. Farlow for ten years, and while working with him I became so infatuated with the study of these plants that I have determined to keep up my interest.

Letter from L.C.C. Krieger to Edward Angus Burt December 17, 1914

L. C. C. Krieger was born in Baltimore, Maryland on 11 February 1873. In 1891, he began his professional career as an assistant artist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was assigned to the Division of Microscopy, where he worked until 1895 under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Taylor, whose hobby was the study of mushrooms. Krieger was soon put to work painting mushrooms found in and around Washington, D.C., as well as copying plates from European works.

After 1895 Krieger studied art in Munich and returned to Maryland where he taught drawing and painting. An offer in 1902 from Professor William Farlow enticed him to leave his native city and return to his earlier occupation, mycological illustration. He worked with Farlow for the next ten years.

In late 1912, Krieger returned to government service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was assigned to the Plant Introduction Garden in Chico, California, then under the direction of David Griffiths. Krieger painted a large series of species and forms of Opuntia (prickly pear cactus) between 1912 and 1917.

Once again the lure of mushrooms proved to be too strong and Krieger left government service a second time. In 1918, he accepted an invitation from Dr. Howard A. Kelly, a Baltimore physician, to resume his study and illustration of mushrooms.

A brief stint from 1928 to 1929 with the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in Cuba allowed Krieger to make a series of paintings of sugar cane diseases. This work was followed, through the intercession of Dr. Kelly, with an appointment as Mycologist to the New York State Museum in Albany where Krieger prepared a guide to the higher fungi of New York State. A third and final period of government service began in 1929 and Krieger once again collaborated with David Griffiths of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Krieger died in Washington, D.C. on July 31, 1940.