Earl Frederick Kittleson (1927 - 2009)

Birth date: 1927 Death date: 2009  
Birth location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Drawing , Graphic Art , Painter / Watercolor , Painting Web site:
Fair (file rating) - MWA artist file may include basic data, and additional newspaper articles, book references, exhibition information, and images that can be researched on site at MWA.


Earl Frederick Kittleson
Born 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died 2009 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Earl Kittleson’s interest in art began at an early age when he was taught how to draw by his older sister. Art ability runs in his family; his sister became an artist in her own right, working for Walt Disney.  Earl was further encouraged by his Peckham Junior High School teacher, Dorothy Meredith and his Washington High School teacher, Alice Gutsch.

After completing his Army stint, Earl entered Layton School of Art (BFA 1956), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (BS 1957, MS 1961) and has attended courses at University of Minnesota (sculpture, bronze casting) and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (American painting) and Carlton College, Minnesota (printmaking). He was nominated to attend the University of Virginia through the National Gallery, Washington DC (Renaissance Studies), and New York University Summer Workshop for Art Teachers, through the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been influenced by teachers such as Robert von Neumann, Elsa Ulbricht, Karl Priebe, Gerrit Sinclair and Gerhardt Bakker.

Art education has been a consistent part of Kittleson’s career. His first teaching position was at the Oxbow Summer School of Painting in Saugatuck, Michigan in 1957. He was offered the position at the recommendation of Elsa Ulbricht, Director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Department. Here Earl learned that he loved to teach. In addition to Oxbow, he fulfilled adjunct faculty responsibilities at  the Shorewood Opportunity School (Modern Painting lectures),  University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Drawing and Screen Printing), The summer Studio, University of Wisconsin, Wausau (Printmaking), Milwaukee Area Technical College (Design for Commercial Art), Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin (Figure and Anatomy), Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Watercolor) and Peninsula Art School, Fish Creek, Wisconsin (Watercolor). He served the students in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin Public Schools until his retirement in 1992. Earl was a frequent critique master in the Milwaukee area, lending an encouraging eye to aspiring as well as seasoned artists.

Earl was particularly known for his watercolor paintings and etchings. Curiosity serves to inform his art which has been described as intuitive, spontaneous, inventive and calculated. He experimented with media and technique, shaping what he learned into a unique art form. “Every run through of the press generates a different result”, Earl said. Art evolves from the courage to try new things. “Intriguing challenges to creativity are caused by accidents, either natural or provoked. The fun of painting is to turn accidents into a new form that means something special to the artist. We call it serendipity.” Kittleson continued his exploration of the possible in his studio in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

Museum Collections:
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin
Elvehjm Museum (now Chasen Gallery), Madison, Wisconsin
Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Massachusetts
Neville Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Wustum Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend
Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
Miller Art Center, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1962 Bradley Gallery, Thiensville
1962 Lohman Gallery, Menomoneee Falls
1962 Milwaukee Jewish Community Center
1962 University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
1963 Art Originals Gallery, Milwaukee
1963 l”Atelier Gallery, Milwaukee
1963 Winnettka Public Library
1963 Wustum Art Museum, Racine
1964 Mount Mary College
1966 University of Wisconsin LaCrosse
1967 University of Wisconsin Parkside, Kenosha
1968 Bradley Gallery,Thiensville
1971 Madison Art Center, Madison
1975 Fredericks Gallery, Brookfield
1975 Beloit College Wright Art Center
1983 Appleton Art Center, Appleton. Wisconsin
1985 Carroll College Union Gallery, Waukesha
1989 West Bend Gallery of Fine Art (now known as the Museum of Wisconsin Art)
2002 University of Wisconsin, Waukesha
2011 Earl Kittleson: The Pedagogical Printmaker, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend

Selected Group Exhibitions

Northwest Printmakers

California Society of Etchers

Boston Printmakers

Brooklyn Museum Biennial

Library of Congress
Watercolor Wisconsin, Wustum Museum Racine, Wisconsin
Wustum Invitational Exhibitions, Kohler Art Museum, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Jewish Community Center theme shows
Semi-annual, Wisconsin  Watercolor Society exhibitions
Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art

Selected Awards

Skyledge Prize, Midwest Watercolor Society, Neville Museum, Green Bay Wisconsin
2003 Best in Show, Elgin Art Fair
Best in Show  Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art

Award of Excellence, Winter Show, Center for Visual Arts, Wausau

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