West Bend Art Museum

(as of 2007 the Museum of Wisconsin Art)

West Bend, WI





Since 1991, the museum has become widely known throughout the country as the home of the most comprehensive collection of Early Wisconsin Art and the Wisconsin Art Archive -- the primary source for information on early Wisconsin art. The goal is to become one of many regional art museums in the country with a collection chronologically representative of all Wisconsin's visual art media.

The Museum's vision follows an historic pattern of focusing on Wisconsin art that has been in place since it was founded in 1961 with a core collection of paintings by Carl von Marr, one of Wisconsin's most noted late 19th century artists. (Marr was related to the museum's founding Melitta S. Pick family). In 1988 the museum's collection management policy was established, resulting in the assembly of a significant vintage collection of regional art from Wisconsin's golden age of cultural development. That collection was first unveiled a decade later as part of the state's sesquicentennial program in 1998. Since then the reputation of the museum's collections and archives has gained such momentum that today it is the leading source of art and information on this topic.

As of 2007 the museum's collection is relatively small, but tightly focused, with just under 2,000 works of art, representing nearly 300 Wisconsin artists from the timeframe of Euro-American settlement in Wisconsin to around 1950; the archives represent nearly 6,000 artists during the same timeframe. However, art was created in Wisconsin hundreds of years before white settlement and to not acknowledge that or any of the art that was created in contemporary times creates a limited and narrow understanding of Wisconsin art.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art is located at 300 South 6th Avenue in downtown West Bend. See the Museum's website for hours and admission fees.

Google Book Searches conducted in 2008 and 2013 by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) located the following brochures, catalogues and gallery guides published on paper in connection with the Museum and with a topic of American representational art. The list may not include all relevant publications. Titles are listed by date of publication, with most recent listed first. Information on publications may be in error or incomplete. Titles may be followed by links to related essays published by Resource Library. See Definitions for more information on finding brochures, catalogues and gallery guides using TFAO's website.

In Celebration: The Life and Art of Ruth Grotenrath, by Susan J. Montgomery. University of Wisconsin Press, Apr 5, 2011 - 141 pages. Google Books says: "In Celebration details the life and art of Ruth Grotenrath (1912­88), an American artist whose work spanned the middle fifty years of the twentieth century. Tracing Grotenrath's influences and methods of working -- from her earliest American Regionalist paintings and WPA murals to the colorful still lifes that captured the imagination of her many fans and patrons-Susan Montgomery depicts the artist's unique perceptions of her intimate environment and her efforts to reflect the vibrant beauty of the world around her. Her best-known works are sensual, bountiful floral still lifes."

In the Moment: The Life and Art of Schomer Lichtner, by Susan J. Montgomery. University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 -183 pages. Google Books says: "In the Moment is a visual account of the life and art of Schomer Lichtner (1905­2006), a much-celebrated artist working in the American Midwest. Susan Montgomery draws on archival materials and interviews with Lichtner and others to trace the development of his long and productive career, which began in the first decade of the twentieth century and continued until his death at the age of 101. The 350 images in this book span more than seventy-five years of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, theatrical sets, greeting cards, and drawings."

Spicuzza, an Exponent of Beauty and Light: A Family Collection, By Thomas Lidtke. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 2002. 4 pages. Essay by Thomas D. Lidtke.

Gerrit V. Sinclair, 1890-1955: A Retrospective: West Bend Art Museum, August 14-September 29, 2002, By Gerrit Van W Sinclair, Janet Treacy,. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 2002. 30 pages see Gerrit V. Sinclair 1880-1955: A Retrospect; essay by Janet Treacy (8/22/02)

Women's Work: Early Wisconsin Women Artists, West Bend Art Museum, October 3-November 11, 2001, By Heather Boright.. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 2001. 72 pages

Wisconsin Art History: Early Wisconsin Craftmasters: West Bend Art Museum, May 30-July 1, 2001. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 2001. 12 pages

Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors, Wisconsin Artists in All Media: Centennial Exhibition. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 2000. 29 pages

Wisconsin Art History: A Chronology of Wisconsin Art and History to 1950. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 1998. 18 pages

Foundations of Art in Wisconsin: A Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Exhibition in Honor of the State's Founding Cultural Figures and Organizations. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 1998. 46 pages see Preface to "Foundations of Art in Wisconsin" by Thomas D. Lidtke (9/29/01)

My Life: An Autobiography, By John Marr,. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 1998. 20 pages

Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 1996. 5 pages

George Raab: Prominence in 19th Century Regional Art. Published by West Bend Art Museum, 1994. 28 pages. Google Books says: "West Bend Art Museum, June 8-July 17, 1994 ; Springfield Art Association of Edwards Place, July 30-September 4, 1994." George Raab: Wisconsin Artist, essay segment by Peter C. Merrill (9/21/01)

Carl Von Marr: American-German Painter, by Thomas Lidtke. West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts, 1986 - 116 pages

Book information courtesy of Google Books.

The potential for the essays in the above books to be placed online for free access by the public is of interest to TFAO. For information on digitizing initiatives from non profit organizations please see digitizing initiatives. Also please see commercial ventures. For information on two of TFAO's digitizing initiatives please click here for the Institutional Sources Study Project, here for the Collections-Centric Scholarly Texts Project, here for Resource Library's Scholarly texts services to Institutions, and here for TFAO's grant program for conversion of analog text to digital files and online publication of scholarly texts

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc. (TFAO) neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Why was this sub-index page prepared?

When Resource Library publishes over time more than one article concerning an institution, there is created as an additional resource for readers a sub-index page containing links to each Resource Library article or essay concerning that institution, plus available information on its location and other descriptive information.

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