Painter, stained glass artist, and printmaker Charles Crodel was born in 1894 in Mareseille. His family moved to Germany and he studied at the University of Jena and was a member of the board of the Jena-Union, the famed forum of the Bauhaus. He became a close friend of the artist Gerhard Marcks. His prints were acquired in the 1920s by the National Gallery, Berlin and the Bibliothèque National, Paris.
From 1927 he taught printing and mural painting at the "Burg Giebichenstein"--the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Halle, until 1933 when he was dismissed under the rising Nazi regime. He continued to teach in private circles at the house of Paul Frankl, the famous Hungarian art historian (1878-1962).
In the prewar years his murals at Halle and Bad Lauchstadt dedicated to Goethe were destroyed in 1933 and 1936 respectively. Emigrés began to buy his work, and as a result paintings and prints by Crodel may now be found in Louisville, Kentucky, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Luther College.
In Germany Crodel worked in a pottery business that had been acquired in a forced sale from a Jewish owner by a man named Bollhagen, and although Crodel was termed a "degenerate' artist by the Nazi regime, he managed to survive WWII in Germany, teaching at Halle, Dresden, Berlin, and Munich.
He eventually visited the United States and taught at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Louisville, Kentucky.