Warrington Wickham Colescott (1921 - 2018)

Birth date: 3/7/1921 Death date: 9/10/2018  
Birth location: Oakland, California Death location: Hollandale, Wisconsin  
Media: Graphic Art , Painting , Printmaking Web site:
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Biographical Brief

1957, Slade School of Art, University College, University of London (Fullbright Fellow)
1952, Academic de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France
1946, Master of Arts, University of California at Berkeley
1942, Bachelor of Arts, University of California at Berkeley
Work Experience:
1949-1986, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Warrington Colescott
Born 1921 in Oakland, California
Died 2018 in Hollandale, Wisconsin

Colescott, an innovative master of printmaking techniques, received his BA degree from the University of California-Berkeley in 1942.  Service as a First Lieutenant in the US Army during World War II interrupted his studies, but he returned to the University of California-Berkeley to complete his MA degree in 1947.   From then until 1949 he taught silk screen printing at Long Beach Community College, whereupon he moved to Madison, Wisconsin to become an art professor at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

From 1950-1953, Colescott studied painting at the Academie de La Grande Chaumiere, Paris  and in 1956-57 he received a Fulbright Fellowship Grant that allowed him to study printmaking/etching at the Slade School of Art, University of London, England; Colescott returned to London in 1968 to study printmaking/etching at the Charlotte Street Basement Studio under Brigit Skiold..  In the 1960s he was one of the first printmakers to use photographic elements in his work. 1965 saw Colescott receive the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. From 1978-1984 he held the Leo Steppat Chair Professorship in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graphics Art Department.  Over the years he was the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Arts Council and the Wisconsin Governor’s Award in the Arts.  Colescott was a member of the Elvehjem Museum of Art Council (now the Chazen Museum of Art), UW-Madison, Madison Art Center, National Print Organization and Vice-President of Art for the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters. 

Colescott’s printmaking often featured social satire via historical, literary and contemporary inspiration.   His work is in collections throughout the United States and Europe and was represented in 100 Years of Wisconsin Art, 1989 Milwaukee Sentinel Calendar and the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Portfolio.  His folio of prints, The History of Printmaking is found in many museum collections.

Selected Public Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago
Bibliotecque Nationale, Paris, France
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Carnegie-Mellon Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
City of Milwaukee Permanent Art Collection, Wisconsin
Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Library of Congress
Los Angeles County Museum, California
Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Milwaukee Art Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, Minnesota
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1966 Galerie des Peintres-Graveurs, Paris, France
1967 Galerie DeMay, Düsseldorf, Germany
1969 American Associated Artists Gallery, New York, New York
1980 Recent Works on Paper by Warrington Colescott, Paul Waggoner Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, Illinois (also 1985 and 1988)
Peacock Printmakers, Aberdeen Scotland
Tampa Museum of Art, Florida
Forty Years of Printmaking: A Retrospective, 1948-1988, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, WI

Warrington Colescott,  Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin

Selected Group Exhibitions

Wisconsin Artists – 1855 Until Today, Milwaukee Art Center, Wisconsin
1968 Prints and Photographs, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
1981 International Print Exhibition, Ljubliana, Yugoslavia; Biennial Americana de Artes, Columbia, So. America; 22nd National Print Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum, New York
1984 British International Biennial, Bradford, England; WI Directions 4, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI
1990 Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
1998 150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin
1999 Contemporary Visual Arts in Wisconsin, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.

Selected Publications

1976 Warrington Colescott’s History of Printmaking, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin, Text by Gene Baro
1985 Auer, James. Colescott’s Art Witty and Pungent, Milwaukee Journal.
1989 Warrington Colescott Forty Years of Printmaking A Retrospective, 1948-1988, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin
1996 Warrington Colescott, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin.
1999 Warrington Colescott and Arthur Dove, Progressive Printmakers, Wisconsin Artists and the Print Renaissance. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin

Selected Awards

Recipient of one of the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards (The Wisconsin Visual Art Hall of Fame)
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