Charles E. Krosse Collection
Charles Lester Venard (1884-1981) worked as a photographer and filmmaker in southern Illinois from 1908 to 1970. His career spans the divide from the days of silent cinema to the introduction of videotape as a format for distributing educational films. His film company, C.L. Venard Productions, created and distributed a wide range of industrial and educational films, though by the end of his career his work focused on agricultural and farming subjects.
Born in Kansas, Venard started working at a photography studio at the age of 14. By 1908 he had moved to Peoria, Illinois where he set up his own photography studio, Venard Studio. After a brief move to Lincoln, Illinois from 1912 to 1917, Venard returned to Peoria. It was at this time that he appears to have transformed his business to include producing and distributing films. C.L. Venard Productions was a full service provider for southern Illinois.
Charles E. Krosse was born in Peoria, IL, on February 27, 1925. Krosse served in the Navy, and upon graduating from the University of Kansas, he worked in Marketing at Caterpillar for decades, retiring in 1986. He donated his collection of films from C.L. Venard Productions to CFA in 2006. Krosse passed away in 2016.