About the Exhibition

James and Karen Hyde


January 28–April 9

MOWA | West Bend

This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary gift of art made by James and Karen Hyde to the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Since 2013, when MOWA opened its new facilities, the Hydes have given almost 100 paintings, drawings, and prints to the museum. Laurie Winters, MOWA’s Executive Director, has called this donation “the most significant gift of artwork to the museum since its founding in 1961.”

Over two decades of collecting, the Hydes selected works of art to complement and enrich MOWA’s collection. At times, they built upon strengths in collection areas; on other occasions, they bought works of art that would add new threads to existing conversations in the galleries. With Dr. Hyde’s death in 2022, the entire collection has now been formally reunited and gifted to the museum.

The Hyde Collection focuses on Wisconsin Social Realism, Regionalism, and Surrealism. Among the highlights are paintings and rare prints and drawings by Aaron Bohrod, Ruth Grotenroth, Edmund Lewandowski, Schomer Lichtner, Dean Meeker, Robert von Neumann, George Raab, Robert Schellin, Gerrit Sinclair, Francesco Spicuzza, John Wilde, and Santos Zingale. Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century paintings by Richard Lorenz, Gustave Moeller, and Heinrich Vianden are also included in the gift.

This 2023 bequest joins the James and Karen Hyde Collection of Studio Glass, which was gifted in 2021 and exhibited at MOWA in conjunction with the museum’s sixtieth-anniversary celebrations. “The Hydes’ commitment to MOWA and their belief in building for future generations are now vibrant legacies in MOWA’s galleries.

Works from this collection will be on view in the first floor State Gallery and throughout the permanent collection.


Image: Robert Schellin, Still Life, 1945. Oil on canvas. Gifted 2022, James and Karen Hyde (detail)

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