World Art Day
First held in 2012 by the International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP), and later proclaimed in 2019 at UNESCO’s General Conference, World Art Day promotes the development, diffusion, and enjoyment of art around the world. This year, we’re highlighting the Edmund D. Lewandowski Papers (UWM Mss 229) from the UWM Archives. Lewandowski was a prolific painter and mosaicist as well as President of the Layton School of Art.
The Lewandowski collection contains several black and white photographs of his paintings and mosaics, featured above. It also holds a scrapbook, created by Lewandowski, covering nearly his entire career from the early 1930s well into the 1980s. Lewandowski was considered a second generation Precionist, focusing on simple shapes, geometrical structures, and minimal details, originally developed in the inter-war period. More on this style can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History essay series. Lewandowski was a student at the Layton School of Art in the 1930s and eventually became its president from 1954 to 1972 after joining the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project and working as an artist-correspondent with the US military in France during World War II.
The first image shows one of Lewandowski’s most familiar works to Milwaukee locals – the mosaic on the west side of the Milwaukee War Memorial, from 1959. The Roman numerals reference the start and end years of World War II and the Korean War. More on this mural can be found on the blog of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Below that, are two photographs of works for the Allen-Bradley Company. On the left was part of a series on Great American Inventions from the 1960s and the right is a detail of a mosaic made for the company in 1958. Following those is a photograph of Lewandowski working on an unnamed mosaic in 1953, though it appears to be the mosaic now displayed in Marquette University’s Alumni Memorial Union. Below that is an undated preliminary drawing for the Northwestern Institute of Technology. And finally, the last two images are photographs of S. S. Constitution, American Export Line from 1950 on the left and Nativity from 1957 on the right.
Check out the IAA USA’s website for more information on World Art Day and how they’re celebrating virtually this year. See more of Lewandowski’s work online from the Milwaukee Art Museum and more from his papers here at the UWM Archives.
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