RENE ROBERT BOUCHE (1905 - 1963)United StatesRobert August Buchstein was born in Autro-Hungarian Prague. He studied history at Munich University while at the same time earning a living as an illustrator of children’s books. In 1927 he moved to Berlin where he married and worked as a professional illustrator. It as at that time he adopted the name René Robert Bouché. In the early 1930s he moved to Paris and in 1938 began his life long association working for Vogue. On the German occupation of France he was briefly held in a detention camp but escaped to Lisbon, and from there to the United States. In New York he gained U.S. citizenship and continued his work for Vogue and illustrated advertisements for Saks Fifth Avenue and Elizabeth Arden, where he was chief advertising campaign illustrator. Up until the late forties, Bouché’s paintings were figurative, but in 1948 he became absorbed in abstract expressionism, joining Motherwell, de Kooning and Pollock as a member of The Eighth Street Avant-Garde Painters Club. He lost interest in abstract expressionism by 1953 and decided to concentrate on portraits. At the same time he was among the most successful and original advertising illustrators of his time involved in campaigns for Schweppes, Jaguar and Buick. He designed stage sets and costumes for the Theatre Guild’s Child of Fortune (1954) and the American Ballet Theatre’s Offenbach in the Underworld (1956). His murals for the Seven Hills of Rome restaurant in the New York Hilton (1962) were the last major commission of his career.