Orison Carl Daeda (1919 - 1995)

Birth date: 11/17/1919 Death date: 1/2/1995  
Birth location: Duluth, Minnesota Death location: Janesville, Wisconsin  
Media: Painter / Watercolor , Painting , Painting / Acrylic 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

Orison Carl Daeda was a self-taught artist who worked for the Works Progress Administration at the Milwaukee Art Museum during the Great Depression. He had a love for waterfowl and bird paintings, and has won numerous awards. During World War II, Orison worked in the Howard Hughes aircraft plant in California doing artist renderings, and became a navigator in the Air Force until he was honorably discharged. He returned to West Allis, married, fathered five children, and later adopted another. He began work in manufacturing doing artist renderings, and later designed homes. Orison continued painting farm and wildlife, changing from oils to watercolor and acrylic; always photographing scenery in Wisconsin for subject matter. His paintings have been in galleries in Carmel, California and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Orison was also a member of the "Society of Marine Painters" in Florida. Upon his death, Orison's children divided his work, some of which are still owned by his family.


Orison Carl Daeda

Born 1919 in Duluth, Minnesota

Died 1995 in Janesville, Wisconsin

Orison Daeda’s family moved to Wisconsin shortly after he was born.  During his teens, in the 1930s, he worked for the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


Although Orison never received any formal art training he produced many paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic.  His compositions varied from Wisconsin farm scenes, desert, marine and mountain scenes, to wildlife and even portraiture.  Most of his work was painted in the American Regionalist style, which was popularized by such figures as Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry.


In 1939, Daeda received the Grand Prize at the Wisconsin State Fair exhibition which was juried by John Steuart Curry (artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), for an impressionist interpretation of a Wisconsin farm scene.  That same year, he won blue ribbons for two different farm scene paintings exhibited in the Madison area, including the one shown here. Daeda visited Curry in Madison and inquired how he could be become a great painter. Curry looked at him and simply stated, “paint, paint, paint.”


During World War II, Daeda worked at the Howard Hughes Aircraft Plant in California doing artist’s renderings.  He later joined the Air Force, became a navigator, and flew many missions to Europe.


After the war, he returned to West Allis, near Milwaukee, and worked as an artist for a manufacturing company.  Later he designed homes for a living.  Even during this time, he continued to paint farm, wildlife and harness racing scenes in watercolor and acrylic, often using photography as reference for his paintings particularly while traveling to both coasts as well as Florida (where he was a member of the Society of Marine Painters), and Door County.



Selected Group Exhibitions


1939    Wisconsin State Fair Exhibition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1998    Foundations of Art in Wisconsin, West Bend Art Museum, West Bend, Wisconsin

            Foundations of Art in Wisconsin, Rahr West Art Museum, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

1999    Foundations of Art in Wisconsin, Miller Art Center, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

© 10/17/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                         2/18/2010

Wisconsin Affiliations

Wisconsin Art Organizations

No art organizations were found.

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