Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Stefan Kramar: Retrospective
Beginning May 21, 2000, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at Canyon, Texas, will feature the work of long-time Amarillo artist Stefan Kramar. This exhibition will examine Kramar's career from his early days in the upper Midwest through the beginning of the new millennium, and will include works in several media including his nationally-known watercolors.
Born at Racine, Wisconsin, in 1922 Kramar studied at the Wisconsin Academy of Art and headed toward a career in commercial art before World War II intervened. Kramar served as a paratrooper with the famous 82nd Airborne Division of the U. S. Army and received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He moved to Amarillo, Texas, in January 1947.
Kramar built a studio-home in Amarillo in 1949 where he still lives with his wife, Mary. He worked for several years for McCormick Advertising before turning to free-lance commercial art. By the 1960s, his interests had turned to easel painting.
almost exclusively in watercolor, Kramar has received over 50 major awards
and achieved national and international recognition. Critics have acclaimed
his "expert, refined palette" and his "restrained and powerful
traditional style." Kramar's awards include: Best of Show, 24th Annual
Texas Watercolor Society Exhibition at San Antonio; Sweepstakes Award,
Sun Carnival National Art Exhibit, El Paso; top award, Southwest Fiesta-Biennial Exhibition, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; and first award, 38th Annual Regional, Shreveport, Louisiana. (left: Stefan Kramar in studio)
Two of Kramar's watercolors were also selected for the 1964 American Veterans Society of Artists Summer Festival Art Exhibition at New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas, in 1967 and 1975.
Under the sponsorship of Grumbacher, Inc., Kramar gave workshops and demonstrations all over the South and Southwest for twenty years. He retired from teaching in 1983 but continues to paint at his Amarillo studio.
The culmination of his career came in 1997 when he was given the Purple Sage Award from the Texas Watercolor Society, the highest honor the Society can bestow. Stefan Kramar received this award for "his outstanding artistic achievements and for more than 50 years of excellence in painting in water media."
This exhibition will span his career from cartoon work through recent paintings, with works from the collection of the Museum, the artist and private collectors. "Stefan Kramar: Retrospective" will be exhibited at the Museum until August 27, 2000.
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