James Alfred Schwalbach (1912 - 1984)

Birth date: 1912 Death date: 1984  
Birth location: Germantown, Wisconsin Death location: Three Lakes, Wisconsin  
Media: Drawing , Graphic Art , 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.


James Alfred Schwalbach                          

Born 1912 in South Germantown, Wisconsin

Died 1984 in Three Lakes, Wisconsin

James Schwalbach received his B.S. degree in art education after attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1930-1934.  While there, he coordinated the "First National Collegiate Exhibition of Photography."  He later attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and obtained his M.S. degree in art education from UW-Madison.  Advance graduate work in art education and educational supervision was completed at UW-Madison from 1937-41.

James Schwalbach was the creator and narrator of the "Let's Draw" radio series of the Wisconsin University School of the Air from 1936-1973.  In 1936-46, he received awards for the best educational program in national radio, public and private sectors.  He wrote the teachers’ manuals for these programs.

From 1940-45, James Schwalbach was chairman and instructor of the art department at UW-Whitewater and from 1943-45 became principal of  the training High School on the  Whitewater campus..

In 1945 James joined the faculty of the Department of Rural Sociology in the College of Agriculture at UW-Madison.  He became the Director of Extension programs in art, encouraging the development of artwork as an avocational interest for rural people.  During that time, he continued to evaluate radio programs of the School of the Air at Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison.  James Schwalbach founded and directed the Wisconsin Rural Art Program in 1945.  He was its director until 1964.  He worked closely with John Steuart Curry, and later Aaron Bohrod, to establish the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association, which continues to exist today.

In 1947 Schwalbach published Funtime Crafts, a children's book, and from 1947 - 1962, he was director of the Wisconsin State Fair Festival of Arts.

In 1956 Schwalbach married a textile artist, Mathilda Vandenbergh.  Together they exhibited and published, Screen Process Printing for the Textile Designer and Serigrapher, c. 1970. James Schwalbach produced many block prints early in his career, but by the 1950s he had switched from block printing to painting and serigraphy.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1932-1940         Numerous National and International Photographic Competitions

1937-1945         Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Annual Exhibitions (1938 - Watercolor Award)

1936-1970         Wisconsin Salon of Art, Madison Annual Exhibitions (Graphics Award 1970 for serigraph in 1969)

1945-1955         Madison Salon of Art

1948                  Wisconsin Exhibition celebrating the Wisconsin Centennial - Milwaukee Art Institute

1964-1965         Wisconsin State Fair Festival of the Arts

1958-1976         Numerous joint exhibitions which included serigraphic prints and his wife's textile designs

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

© 10/23/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                         6/2/2010

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