Melitta Suder Pick (1912 - 1970)

Birth date: 6/29/1912 Death date: 1970  
Birth location: West Bend, Wisconsin Death location: Wickenberg, Arizona  
Media: Ceramic Sculpture , Painting , Painting / Oil , Painting / W/C & Acrylic , Sculpture , Woodcarving 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.

Biographical Brief

Original founding family member.
Great Niece of  Carl von Marr
Daughter of Melitta Hedwig Suder Pick
Grand daughter of Carl Marr's sister Hedwig Marr Suder
1931-32,  Milwaukee Downer College, Wisconsin
1933-34 Northwestern University, Illinois
Evanston Academy of Fine Art, Illinois
Layton Art School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Studied under Carl von Hanno.and many of her later works were influenced by him.
Early paintings used a cross Hatch technique and later her paintings developed the use of more solid forms with the use of bold colors.


Melitta S. Pick

Born 1912 in West Bend, Wisconsin

Died 1970 in Wickenburg, Arizona

Melitta S. Pick (Billa) was born and raised in West Bend.  She was the great niece of the famed American-German artist, Carl von Marr.  Her art instruction included diverse media: sculpture, woodcarving, watercolor, oil and casein.  Pick commented that she loved sculpture and carving best, but her extensive travels “made it difficult to carry chunks of wood or tubs of clay.”  She painted and exhibited in Norway where she studied with Carl von Hanno in Oslo.

During World War II, Pick worked at the War Department in Washington, D.C. as a Teletype operator and later as a SPAR radio operator in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Later in her career, during the 1930s through the 1950s, she tended to paint more than sculpt, creating works of art in watercolor and casein.  Most of these paintings illustrate her travels in the Caribbean Islands, the coast of Maine, New Mexico and Norway.  Characteristic of her paintings is a crosshatch technique, which later gave way to more solid representative forms modeled with a palette of vibrant and bold colors.  Viewers commented that “her paintings are happy pictures.  You want to come back often to see them.”  The later works were influenced by the work of her Norwegian instructor, Carl von Hanno.  The influence is notable, yet her work retains an independent nature.

 In 1961, Pick helped her sister, Joan M. Pick, and her mother, Melitta Hedwig (Suder) Pick, in 1961-1993  establishing the West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (1993-2007) the West Bend Art Museum).  She continued to assist with its operation for several years.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1949                Armory, West Bend, Wisconsin

1952                Washington Art Galleries, Miami, Florida - Blue Dome Show

1953                Miami, Florida

1953                Oslo, Norway

1962                West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts, West Bend

1968                Wickenburg, Arizona

© 10/23/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                            5/17/2010

Wisconsin Affiliations

Wisconsin Art Organizations

No art organizations were found.

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