Burton Lee Potterveld (1908 - 2000)

Birth date: 1908 Death date: 2000  
Birth location: Dubuque, Iowa Death location: Shorewood, Wisconsin  
Media: Graphic Art , 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.


Burton Lee Potterveld

Born 1908 in Dubuque, Iowa

Died 2000 in Shorewood, Wisconsin

Burton Lee Potterveld was an artist, designer, writer and teacher.  He studied art at the University of Dubuque, and Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, from 1927 to 1930. His instructors were Charlotte Partridge, Walter Quirt, Girolomo Piccoli, Gerrit Sinclair and Myron Nutting. He was a faculty member of the Layton School of Art between 1930 and 1946 and also taught design and art history at Wisconsin State College. From 1946 to1974, he taught at University of Wisconsin –Milwaukee. During the long summer breaks he always headed west to paint and sketch. Potterveld's work often involved an insect theme and he took a course in entomology to assure accuracy.  He was proficient in etching, watercolor and oil painting, and took special interest in pattern, color, and texture.

In 1934, as part of the Public Works of Art project, he painted a 59-foot mural depicting Wisconsin's progress in the library of the State Teachers College in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  In  1942 he was commissioned to paint a 125-foot mural of Milwaukee scenes on the plaster wall of the building where Milwaukeeans were registering for civil defense. He also created murals for the American Legion Convention in 1941 and the Governor’s Convention on Education in 1955. From 1943 to 1954 he did defense work in a Milwaukee lithography plant.  He was a member of the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors and served as its president in 1946. Potterveld was a prolific author, he wrote 113 articles on art for the Standard Education Society in chicago between 1957 and 1959.

Selected Exhibitions

1931    Chicago Art Institute, Illinois (also 1937, 1938, 1939)

1931    Art Association Exhibition, Dubuque, Iowa, first award for watercolor

1932    Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors (also 1933 to 1946)

1935    American Artists

1937    Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, 24th Annual Exhibition of Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors

1940    Madison Salon, Wisconsin (also 1941, 1942, 1943)

1940    Layton Gallery of Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Paintings by the Square Inch

1961    Union Art Show, Newcomb-Macklin Gallery, Chicago, Illinois (purchase prize)

1996    Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years

© 10/23/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                             6/3/2010

  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Instagram icon
  • Flickr icon
  • Youtube icon
  • E-News icon