Alfred George Pelikan (1893 - 1987)

Birth date: 1893 Death date: 1987  
Birth location: Breslau, Germany Death location: Fox Point, Wisconsin  
Media: Painting Web site:
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Alfred George Pelikan
Born 1893 in Breslau, Germany
Died 1987 in Fox Point, Wisconsin
Alfred Pelikan, an accomplished painter and mosaic artist, is remembered more for his contributions to the arts as an educator, lecturer, and author. He came from a family of circus acrobats in Germany. His sister Lillian Leitzel, a famous trapeze artist,  killed while performing in Copenhagen in 1931, made sure Pelikan received a good education, schooled in Maysfield, Sussex, England and also at King’s College, Oxford.

In 1911, Pelikan immigrated to the United States and enrolled in pre-med studies at Pennsylvania College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology and switched his field to art and art education receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1919, followed by a Master of Arts degree in 1926, from Columbia University Teachers College in New York.  Pelikan's most notable art instructors were Henry Salem Hubbell, Charles Hawthorne, and Eugene Savage.  

In 1921, Pelikan became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.  From 1920 to 1925, he was Director of the Grand Rapids School of Art and Industry.  In 1925, Pelikan settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a member of WI. Painters & Sculptors, the WI. Society of Arts & Crafts, the American Artists Professional League and the National Committee of Art Education as well as the Academie Latine of Paris, and was a fellow of the Royal Society of Art, London.  As director of the Milwaukee Art Institute from 1926 to 1941, Pelikan laid much of the cultural foundation of the Milwaukee Art Museum and was instrumental in bringing the New York Museum of Modern Art's touring exhibitions to the Midwest.  He was also the Director of Art Education for the Milwaukee Public School system from 1926 to 1962, and organized the annual Milwaukee Journal Student Art Calendar Competition.   

Pelikan was author of: The Art of the Child, 1931The Graphic Aids, (series)Co-author of: Simple Metalwork, 1940.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1932 Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin,Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors 19th Annual Exhibition, (Milwaukee Journal's Purchase Prize)
1945  Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, 32nd Annual Exhibition of Wisconsin Art 
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years 

Selected Publications

1931 The Art of the Child
1931 The Graphic Aids
1940  Simple Metalwork series(Co-author of)
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