Aaron Bohrod (1907 - 1992)

Birth date: 11/21/1907 Death date: 4/3/1992  
Birth location: Chicago, Illinois Death location: Monona, Wisconsin  
Media: Drawing , Graphic Art , Mural , Painting Web site:
Comprehensive (file rating) - Major Wisconsin artist file that includes comprehensive documentation on artist's life that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biographical Brief

Represented in the permanent collection of the Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.


Aaron Bohrod
Born 1907 in Chicago, Illinois
Died 1992 in Monona, Wisconsin
Aaron Bohrod studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students’ League of New York under John Sloan.  While living in Chicago during the 1930s, he worked for the Chicago Federal Art Project and was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Illinois-Carbondale.
Bohrod painted in the Regionalist and Social-Realist styles, documenting Chicago street scenes. The somewhat brighter colors found in his earliest paintings, however, reveal that he was already taking liberties with the Regionalist style.
From 1942 to 1945, Bohrod was an artistic war correspondent in the European Theater for Life Magazine and also worked for the Army Corps of  Engineers. In 1948, Bohrod replaced John Steuart Curry as the second Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A few years later, his continued work with the university’s Rural Art Program created enough interest in program activities that the Wisconsin Rural Artists Association (WRAA) was established. Bohrod was Artist- in-Residence at UW-Madison until his retirement in 1973.
In the late 1940s, Bohrod became part of a growing tendency toward illusionism and fantasy called "Magic Realism." His later “trompe l'oeil” still lifes, begun in the 1950s, are filled with allusions, puns, and jibes that refer to many cultures and different eras. He often included art historical references, found objects, and faux surfaces in his works to create those illusions. In the early 1950s, he traveled extensively throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, making sketches of the landscapes along the way. His intense study of nature resulted in smaller paintings that became more detailed.

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1933 Rehn Gallery, New York, New York
1953  Oehlschlaeger Galleries, Chicago, Illinois 
1961  Oehlschlaeger Galleries, Sarasota, Florida 
1981 ACA Galleries, Naples, Florida 
1984  Charles Allis Art Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
1985  Sid Deutsch Galleries, New York, New York 
1986  Butler Institute of America, Youngstown, Ohio, traveling exhibit to Ohio, Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota 

Selected Group Exhibitions

1933 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
1939  Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie International 
1948  Associated American Artists Gallery, Los Angeles, California 
1981 Wichita Art Museum, Kansas, The Neglected Era 
1982  Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin, John Steuart Curry, Aaron Bohrod, John Wilde: Leaders in Wisconsin Art, 1936-1981    
1996  Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years - Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, WI. 

Selected Publications


A Pottery Sketchbook

1966 A Decade of Still Life
1975  Wisconsin Sketches 

Selected Awards

2004 Recipient of one of the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards (The Wisconsin Visual Art Hall of Fame)
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