Mel Kishner (1915 - 1991)

Birth date: 1915 Death date: 1991  
Birth location: Milwaukee, WI Death location: Tucson, AZ  
Media: Cartoon , Graphic Art , Painting Web site:
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Biographical Brief

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Mel Kishner

Born 1915 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Died 1991 in Tucson, Arizona

Mel Kishner received a BS degree in Art Education in 1938 from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.  He taught art in Milwaukee schools, but is perhaps best known for his prolific work as the Milwaukee Journal / Sentinel art director. 

Kishner exhibited widely throughout the United States, being best known for his watercolors. He also worked in other media, including oil, acrylic and casein.  His work began in the 1930s with a fairly traditional approach to watercolor. However, throughout the following forty years he allowed his work to reflect new influences, although the source of subject matter remained rooted in the tradition of representational expression.  Working from the environment that he knew best, he continued to stylize his beloved Wisconsin landscapes even after retiring to the southwestern United States. 

In the mid-1970s, Kishner revealed a new style, embracing surrealism through meticulously wrought hard-edged compositions.  He was a member of The Walrus Club (executive board,  1958-59); Milwaukee Press Club; Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors (President, 1951-5); Illustrators and Designers of Milwaukee (vice-president, executive board, 1956-57); and Wisconsin Watercolor Society.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1946        Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin Art

                Annual Watercolor Show, Jackson, Michigan

1947        American Drawing Annual Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York

1950        Milwaukee Art Institute, Solo Exhibition

1954        Milwaukee Art Institute, 40th Annual Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Exhibition of Wisconsin Art

1956        Paine Art Center and Arboretum, 42nd Annual Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Exhibition of Wisconsin Art

                Milwaukee Art Institute 

1957        Washington, D.C. 43rd Annual Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors and Gravers Society of Arts Club

1961        Rahr Civic Center, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

1964        Jewish Community Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1966        Paintings and Graphics

1966        Arts Unlimited, Milwaukee

1973        Oehlschlaeger Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1975        Stonehouse Gallery, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

                Paint'n Place Gallery, Stonefield Village, Wisconsin

                Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

1977        Ozaukee Art Center Retrospective Exhibition, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

1978        Brewery Works - Fine Arts Salon, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

n.d.          City of Milwaukee Commission


Minor S. Jamieson - First Place Award for Landscape Painting - 43rd Annual Exhibition of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society Arts Club, Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin Collections

Milwaukee Art Center - Milwaukee, West Bend Art Museum - West Bend, Lawrence University - Appleton, Oshkosh Museum - Oshkosh, Milwaukee Public Schools

© 10/22/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                              6/2/2010

Wisconsin Affiliations

No affiliations were found.

Wisconsin Art Organizations

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