Santos Zingale (1908 - 1999)

Birth date: 4/17/1908 Death date: 10/4/1999  
Birth location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Death location: Madison, Wisconsin  
Media: Graphic Art , Painting Web site:
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Santos Zingale
Born 1908 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died 1999 in Madison, Wisconsin
Santos Zingale, painter and art educator, grew up on the East Side of Milwaukee, where even as a child he would draw and sketch the neighborhood children. From 1927–1931 Zingale attended and received his bachelor’s degree from the Milwaukee State Teachers College, now the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Zingale studied under Gustave Moeller, Howard Thomas, Robert von Neumann and Elsa Ulbricht.

In the 1930’s, he shared studio space in the 926 N. Plankinton Building, in Milwaukee, with Alfred Sessler. In 1931–1934 he taught art at Milwaukee County Day School and the Young Pioneers School.

Zingale gained acclaim as a regionalist artist for his drawings of social and urban realism and was labeled as a “radical artist” by the press. As a result in 1935 he wrote, ”Art must help the development of human consciousness and improve the social order”. In 1937, Zingale was an officer of the Wisconsin Artists Federation, also known as the “Four Arts” as well as a member of Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors.

He worked for the Public Works of Art Project in 1933–1934 and was commissioned to paint large-scale murals in public buildings for the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) and Wisconsin Art Project from 1936-1942. He painted the post office mural of commercial fishermen and their boats in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  He also did a three-section, 40-foot mural, of the founding of Racine, in the city’s Mitchell High School. In 1943, he was awarded a masters degree for his mural, Democracy in Education, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education. In 1953 he also painted a mural for Marquette University in Milwaukee.

From 1944-1946, Zingale was in the U.S. Navy, where he produced sketches of life aboard the U.S.S. Bremerton. After his discharge he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught there until he retired in 1978. He continued to produce artwork until just before his death at age 91.

Santos Zingale’s major works are representational but not realist. His early scenes of urban realism used strong contrast of light and dark. Later he produced colorful paintings that were part fact and part fantasy. Color, design and painted surfaces were major concerns in his works of art.

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1978 Madison Art Center, Madison WI. Santos Zingale Retrospective Exhibition
1999 Studio 613 Fine Art Gallery, Milwaukee, WI. Santos Zingale

Selected Group Exhibitions

1931,41 & 42 Art Instiute of Chicago, Illinois Annual Exhibitions of the Art Institute of Chicago
1937 Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Annual Exhibition (award winner)
1937 & 42 Madison Salon of Art Exhibition (award winner)
1949 & 52 Gimbel’s  sponsored competition, Wisconsin At Play (award winner)
1949 & 54 Walker Art Center, Minneappolis, MN.
1953-54 Springfield, Illinois Midwest Landscape Exhibition (award winner)
1957 Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
1958 Brooklyn Museum, New York
1960 Theodore Lymann Wright Art Center, Beloit, WI.
1963 Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, WI. Wisconsin Artists- 1855 Until Today
1985 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Celebration 100: A Century of Alumni Art
1988 Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. 100 Years of Wisconsin Art
1995 Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, WI. W.P.A. Watercolors in the Permanent Collection
1995-96 Galleria Del Conte, Milwaukee, WI. Hidden Treasures
1996-97 Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. Self-Portraits Wisconsin Artists
1998 Madison Art Center, Madison WI. Surreal Wisconsin: Surrealism and it’s Legacy of Wisconsin Art
1997 West Bend Art Museum, West Bend WI. Foundations of Art in Wisconsin
2008 Santos Zingale Retrospective, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI

Selected Publications

Art in Wisconsin, by Porter Butts c.1936
Wisconsin * Stability * Progress * Beauty Volume II, by Fred L. Holmes. Litt D. c. 1946
A Reflection of Time: The Wisconsin Union Art Collection, University of Wisconsin-Madison c.1985
100 Years of Wisconsin Art, Milwaukee Art Museum c.1988
150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking by Elvehjrm Museum of Art, Madison, WI. c.1998
Foundations of Art in Wisconsin, West Bend Art Museum, W.B. WI. c.1998
Who Was Who In American Art, by Falk
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