19th-21st Century Midwest American Paintings and Sculpture



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "19th-21st Century Midwest American Paintings and Sculpture." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays published in TFAO's Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


(above: Minerva J. Chapman (1858-1947, Woman Polishing a Kettle, c.1910-14, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in., Brooklyn Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morse G. Dial, Jr. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Our articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art:



40 Years of the Prairie Water Color Painters; essay by Cori Sherman North (5/14/15)

Paint the Light Said American Artist Dale Nichols; essay by Amanda Mobley Guenther (/30/12)

Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism; essay by Amanda Mobley Guenther (1/30/12)

Return to the Heartland: Rediscovering George Van Millett; essay by Lynn Mackle (9/16/11)



Heartland Art: Selections from Your Indiana Collection (6/29/10)

Colors of the West: The Paintings of Birger Sandzén; with article by Christine Giles (5/14/10)

Geology and the Art of Birger Sandzén; essay by James Welsh and Donald Myers (12/15/09)

Swedish-American Works from the Hillstrom Collection (12/14/09)

Making It in the Midwest: Artists Who Chose to Stay; essay by Rachel Berenson Perry (8/25/09)


Making It in the Midwest: Artists Who Chose to Stay (8/25/09)

Art in the Veins: The Legacy of the Edmondson Family in Cleveland; essay By S. Frederick Starr (8/6/09)

Three Generation of Moralists; essay By Henry Adams (8/6/09)

Art in the Veins: The Legacy of the Edmondson Family in Cleveland (7/15/09)

Grant Wood: An American Master Revealed; article by Brady Roberts & James M. Dennis (4/22/09)


After Many Springs: Regionalism, Modernism, and the Midwest; essay by Debra Bricker Balken (2/13/09)

After Many Springs: Regionalism, Modernism & the Midwest (2/13/09)



Indiana Women Artists: Then and Now; essay by Rachel Berenson Perry (7/7/08)

The Paintings of Ada Walter Shulz; essay by Rachel Berenson Perry (7/7/08)

Leroy Trobaugh: The Paintings of a Railroad Worker; text by Rachel Berenson Perry (6/19/08)

Illinois Artists Paintings and Drawings (6/17/08)

Charles Munch (3/18/08)


The Tarble at 25 - Celebrating the Collection (9/6/07)

Jane Hammond: Paper Work (7/27/07)

Artists of the Great Lakes: 1910-1960 (6/11/07)

Hedley William Waycott (1865-1938); article by Channy Lyons (2/14/07)

Robert von Neumann 1888 - 1976, essay by Janet Treacy (1/29/07)


"Black Spirit": Works on Paper by Eldzier Cortor (3/20/06)

Art in Chicago: Resisting Regionalism, Transforming Modernism (1/13/06)



Tunis Ponsen: essay by Susan S. Weininger (12/22/05)

Grant Wood At 5 Turner Alley (8/23/05)

Charles Atherton Cumming: A Deep Root for Iowa Art; article by Richard Leet (8/5/05)

A Kansas Art Sampler (12/2/04)

Windmills to Workshops: Lawrence and the Visual Arts (7/28/04)


Vanished Voices: The Legacy of Northeast Kansas Indians (7/28/04)

Augustus Dunbier: Paint for the Love of Color; essay by Lonnie Dunbier (3/18/04)


Click here for more articles and essays on this subject published in:




(above: George Gardner Symons (1861-1930), Fishing Village, St. Ives, n.d., oil on canvas, 25.2 x 30.1 in. Private collection.  Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


From other websites:

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle  is a 2019 exhibit at the Haggerty Museum of Art which says: "Rockman's series celebrates the natural majesty and global importance of the Great Lakes, while exploring how they are threatened by factors including climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture, and urban sprawl." Accessed 9/19

Art for All: The Swedish Experience in Mid-America is a 2019 exhibit at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery which says: "Art for All: The Swedish Experience in Mid-America -- works by pioneering Swedish-American artists including Dewey Albinson, John F. Carlson, Jonas Olof Grafstöm (work shown below), Charles Hallberg, Bessie Helström, Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Alfred Jansson, Anna Larkin, G. N. Malm, B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Arvid Nyholm, Birger Sandzén, Carl Sprinchorn, and Elof Wedin." Accessed 12/21

The Art of Eric and Mary Ann Bransby is a 2015-6 exhibit at Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery which says: "As the last surviving mural student of Thomas Hart Benton, 99-year-old working artist Eric Bransby continues to draw every day. A selection of 36 paintings and sculpture has been borrowed from Eric and Mary Ann Bransby's Colorado Springs home for this exhibition at the Sandzén Gallery." Accessed 1/17

Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables is a 2018 exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art which says: "Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables brings together the full range of his art, from his early Arts and Crafts decorative objects and Impressionist oils through his mature paintings, murals, and book illustrations. The exhibition reveals a complex, sophisticated artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art." Accessed 5/18

Images of the Midwest from the Collection, an exhibition held December 17, 2011 - February 27, 2012, from the Georgia Museum of Art. Accessed August, 2015.


In Quest of Beauty: The Life and Times of Junius R. Sloan, 1827-1900 is a Virtual Exhibition sponsored by the Valparaiso University Brauer Museum of Art, The presentation has five parts: a Preface by Rita E. McCarthy, Project Organizer, Former Director/Chief Curator, Brauer Museum of Art; Early Life, which covers growing up as an artist and family life; Landscapist, covering life as a landscapist and early landscapes; Portraitist, with material on life as a portraitist and resident portraitist; Emigration to the Midwest, with recollections by the artist; Obituary from a Redlands, California newspaper, Dec. 11, 1891. Accessed 3/19

Long Time Passing: A Visual Chronicle of Farm Life in the Midwest, Past and Present is a 2023 exhibit at Dubuque Museum of Art which says: "Long Time Passing is both a celebration of regional talent and an elegy for rural communities, encompassing nostalgia, challenges, and ultimately the sense of self for those who work on and live off the land, itself a source of constant change."  Accessed 2/24

Midwestern Visions: Grant Wood, Marvin Cone and Beyond, an exhibition held September 23, 2006 - June 11, 2008, from the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Includes 5:07 video. Accessed August, 2015.

Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit was a 2010 exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art which said: "Hewit learned to make white-line color woodcuts from Blanche Lazzell, the most important practitioner of the technique, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1933. Hewit worked in the medium throughout her five-decade long career. She created exuberantly colored, modernist woodcuts depicting diverse subjects, such as scenes of Provincetown and daily life and views of Saugatuck, Michigan, where she spent 16 summers studying at Ox-Bow, a summer art program." Accessed 10/16

"Midwest Women Artists 1840-1940: Discovering their Work, Telling Their Stories, Learning from the Past," a symposium on November 7 and 8, 2013 at Bradley University in Peoria Il. From the Illinois Wonem Artists Project. Accessed August, 2015.


Midwest Paint Group and Invited Guests: Self-Portraits is a 2019 exhibit at the Taubman Museum of Art which says: "The Midwest Paint Group is an association of American Midwestern painters committed to "Post Abstract Figuration." The label comes from New York painter Gabriel Laderman, an early exponent of the return to figurative art that followed the dominance of abstract art in the mid-twentieth century." Accessed 4/19

A Neva Wood Retrospective and Art in Honor of the 200th Anniversary of Howard County was a 2016 exhibit at the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art, which says:"Wood, who paints primarily in watercolor and oil, is known for exploration of color as design, whether painting realistic or abstract pieces.... Wood is professor emerita of art and former chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) in Warrensburg. " Accessed 12/16

Strength, Dignity, Serenity: Artworks by Del and Martha Pettigrew of Kearney, Nebraska is a 2016-7 exhibit at Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery which says: "Award winning artist Delmar Pettigrew creates wildlife sculptures and oil paintings... Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Martha Pettigrew graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a bachelor of fine arts degree.... She has worked as a professional artist, doing both sculpture and paintings, since 1990." Accessed 1/17

"Thirty Years of the Prairie Water Color Painters" is an exhibit held from February 1 through April 19, 2015 at Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery. During the exhbit BSMG made available a .pdf file on its website containing an essay by Cori Sherman North and a checklist. Accessed March, 2015.


(above: Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, 1893, with The Republic statue and Administration Building Photo: The Project Gutenberg EBook of Official Views Of The World's Columbian Exposition, public domain via Wikimedia Commons)



Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary, By Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, Brian L. Meggitt, Jeffrey Weidman, Oberlin College Library. Compiled by Mary Sayre Haverstock. Contributor Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, Jeffrey Weidman. Published by Kent State University Press, 1999. ISBN 0873386167, 9780873386166. 1066 pages. Google Books says:

This comprehensive new three-volume guide to the early art and artists of Ohio is a compendium of hard-to-find information The result of more than twelve years of research in community archives, newspapers, business directories, census returns, genealogical records, and manuscripts, Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 is the most ambitious and complete attempt ever made to document the state's artistic origins and growth.
The authors have uncovered and remedied innumerable gaps and errors in standard reference works. They have also brought to light new information about thousands of forgotten men and women, once well known in their communities, who achieved success in either the fine arts or the decorative and "practical" arts of photograph, ornamental penmanship, tombstone carving, china painting, illustrating, cartooning, and the execution of panoramas and theatrical scenery.
More than 13,000 entries are filled with factual details that will be indispensable to art scholars, genealogists, museum professionals, and historians, as well as to private and institutional collectors of American paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs, and anyone with an interest in the local and regional history of the nineteenth-century Midwest. Each entry is documented, cross-referenced, and backed up by two bibliographies and an appendix devoted to art organizations, schools, major expositions, and collaborative works. Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (right: catalogue front cover courtesy Google Books)


DVD/VHS videos:

Marley Kaul: Paintings is a 28-minute video which discusses the art of Bemidji, Minnesota artist and teacher M. Kaul, who works primarily with acrylics. He paints houses, churches and people in landscapes of whirling patterns and vivid colors. Kaul explains and demonstrates his techniques. (quote courtesy Plains Art Msueum)
The Midwest Matrix, Genealogy of American Printmaking: Oral History of the Post-World War II Midwest Movement is a 2012 documentary film by Susan Goldman. "Midwest Matrix documents, preserves and disseminates an oral history of the fine art printmaking in the Midwest after 1945. Midwest Matrix is a substantive study of post-WWII printmaking that documents the synergy among Midwest universities, workshops, and their participants. Many of these artists who are now in their eighties and nineties, were able to continue their education through the passing of the GI Bill. This project allows these artists, many whom have never before been filmed, to provide accounts of their experiences, their training and their involvement with the development of print departments and studios, their art, and encounters with students"-- Container. Quote source: OCLC WorldCat

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.


(above: Entrance, American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: John Hazeltine. © 2012 John Hazeltine)


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