Charles Frederick Surendorf was born in east central Indiana, the town of Richmond and attended nearby Ohio State in Columbus. He pursued his art studies at the Art Institute in Chicago and then with the Art Student's League in New York. In 1935, he came to the Bay Area, and taught art at Mills College in Oakland. He was active in the local art community, serving as director of the San Francisco Art Festival and then founding and directing the Mother Lode Art School in Columbia, California in 1956.
This school often produced works with themes of the historic California gold mining days. Charles died of cancer in Columbia, heart of the Mother Lode country, in 1979.
Surendorf originally used woodblock for his prints, but later moved to "battleship" linoleum, which he made even harder by freezing it. He would then use steel engraving tools and engrave rather than cut the block. Between 1934 and 1971, he produced over 250 prints. Art Digest named him one of the top twenty-five woodblock artists in the world.
Among the museums where his work is exhibited are the Oakland Museum and Mills College Art Museum.
Source: Edan Hughs Artists in California 1786 - 1940.