Charles Thwaites: An American Journey
seeks to introduce a new audience to a rare twentieth-century artist who excelled at both realism and abstraction.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Thwaites was one of the most recognized artists in America with his paintings exhibited in many of the most prestigious galleries and museums. He was the go-to artist in Wisconsin for official portraits and executed four post office murals under the auspices of the WPA in the 1930s.
In 1954, Thwaites and his wife Antoinette moved permanently to New Mexico, where his realist style slowly transitioned to abstraction and Thwaites becoming a member of the “Taos Moderns” group. During the 1960s and 1970s, he concentrated on purely abstract work such as the stark black-and-white geometric series that was inspired by natural elements.
When he died in 2002, Thwaites’ name had faded from the Southwestern art scene, as it had in Wisconsin when he moved away. Now the Museum of Wisconsin Art has the opportunity to restore Thwaites to his rightful place in twentieth-century American art.
Opening Party + Tour
Saturday, January 28 | 2:00–5:00
Spend the afternoon celebrating this major retrospective of Thwaites’s paintings and drawings. Enjoy music and light refreshments.
Artist Talk + Tour of The Accidental Landscape
with artist Shane McAdams
Curator Talk + Tour of Charles Thwaites: An American Journey
Enjoy the Book
The story of Charles Thwaites’s exceptional work over six decades is told in a 120-page, full-color catalogue, The Art of Charles W. Thwaites: Freedom of Expression, by Susan Hallsten McGarry. Now available in the MOWA shop.
Collecting the 30s and 40s Panel Discussion
Saturday, March 4 | 2:00
What do a biophysicist, marketing consultant, a lip balm maker, and a plantsman have in common? They all collect Wisconsin art from the 1930s and 40s. Join Dr. James S. Hyde, Richard Hartman, Paul Woelbing, and Kevin Milaeger, respectively, as they discuss why they collect art and what makes a great collection.