An artist in iron, Cyril Colnik was born in Trieben, Austria and came to America in 1893 after serving an apprenticeship in Vienna and studying in France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and finally Munich, Germany. Colnik eventually came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he received several commissions from beer barons Captain Frederick Pabst and Herman Uihlein of Schlitz Brewing. Colnik established a shop where he manufactured artistic doors, grilles, candelabras, monuments, door fixtures, etc. of iron, brass and bronze. Colnik's work could and still can be found in many of Milwaukee's finest homes. Colnik's work also included out-of-state commissions, such as the Ringling mansion in Florida and the Insul and Ryerson homes in Chicago, but the bulk of his work was in Milwaukee.
He achieved national acclaim as one of the foremost metal craftsmen of his time. An extensive collection of Colnik's drawings, photographs, and blueprints was acquired and donated to the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2002. Villa Terrace is home to many of Colnik's wrought iron masterpieces. Visit their website at www.villaterracemuseum.org.