Irving Lew Biehn (1900 - 1965)

Birth date: 1900 Death date: 1965  
Birth location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: 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.


Irving Louis (Lew) Biehn
Born 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died 1965 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Irving Biehn attended Washington High School in Milwaukee; Wisconsin artist, Rebecca Chase, was his first art teacher.  He subsequently received a scholarship to study at the Milwaukee Art Institute under Dudley Crafts Watson.  Biehn also spent three semesters studying art at the Layton School of Art.

During the late 1920s, he spent some time in Chicago working at a commercial art firm and taking night classes at the American Academy of Art. As one of the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) artists, Biehn was involved with the Public Works Art Projects. 

In 1934, he started painting the series, Birds of Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Public Museum.  From 1936 - 1964, he was an associate staff artist at the museum, painting natural history and historical dioramas.

Biehn was especially fond of painting winter scenes. These were started as small color sketches on canvas and later painted in detail on a larger scale in his studio.  These scenes were exhibited at the Milwaukee Sentinel Sports show’s “Wildlife Art Exhibitions”. 

He exhibited at Beloit College, the National Wildlife Show and also in Milwaukee at Marquette University, Milwaukee Art Institute (later the Layton Art Gallery), Bressler Gallery and the Charles Allis Art Library.


Selected One-Person Exhibitions

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, Wisconsin New Deal Art

Wisconsin Affiliations

Wisconsin Art Organizations

No art organizations were found.

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