Musician, artist, and dedicated teacher Warren “Pete” Jennerjahn was born in Milwaukee. After earning a degree in art education from Milwaukee State University, he received a master’s degree in the same subject from the University of Wisconsin. During World War II, he saw combat as a member of the Army Air Corps.
At the encouragement of his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Schmitt Jennerjahn, Pete spent the summer of 1948 at Black Mountain College; four years earlier, Betty had been a dance student at the avant-garde institution, located in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Pete studied with Josef Albers and, after a short while, became his assistant. Following Albers’ departure from the college in the spring of 1949, Jennerjahn took over the print shop, which produced letterheads and catalogues for the institution. As a member of the faculty until 1951, he taught courses in color and design, and often played his recorder to accompany dance performances. Betty and Pete Jennerjahn founded the Light Sound Movement Workshop, a multi-media endeavor that staged short theater pieces using projected slides, painted backdrops, sound, and movement.
Jennerjahn left Black Mountain College and spent a year in France. Upon his return to this country, he moved to New York City, where he taught for several years at Hunter College and the Cooper Union. From 1954 until 1987, he was on the faculty of Adelphi University on Long Island. In addition to painting colorful abstractions, Jennerjahn also played the saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Late in his career, he moved to Sedona, Arizona.