Coutts Memorial Museum of Art

El Dorado, KS



The Regionalist Vision of William Dickerson: Selected Paintings from the DeVore Collection

April 12 - May 26, 1999


Artwork by Kansas native William Judson Dickerson will be exhibited at the Coutts Memorial Museum of Art from April 12 through May 26, 1999.

From left to right (click on images to enlarge them): House in Pecos, n.d., oil; Flint HIlls, 1962, oil; After Dinner Speaker, 1956, oil; Woman in Black Dress, 1955, oil

The exhibit, "William Dickerson: Selections from the DeVore Collection," will feature some 50 paintings and prints from the personal collection of Dick and Ginny DeVore of Wichita. In addition to Dickerson's art, the exhibit will also showcase several photographs of the artist and his family by Wichita photographer James Yarnell, who was a friend and student of William Dickerson.


From left to right (click on images to enlarge them): Gretta, 1960, oil; Truches, 1959, oil; Taos Area, 1970, watercolor; Building-Snow, West of Dickerson Studio, Wichita, KS, oil

William Dickerson (1904-1972) is an important Kansas artist whose name is becoming more familiar as wide-spread interest develops for the appreciation of American regionalist art. Dickerson was born in El Dorado to Thomas and Alice Dickerson. Two years later the family moved to Wichita where he made his home for the rest of his life, raising a family, developing a career as painter and print maker, and inspiring generations of young artists. He received his earliest art instruction at the School of the Wichita Art Association (now the Wichita Center for the Arts).

In 1926, with the encouragement of Wichita printmakers C.A. Seward and Clarence Hotvedt, Dickerson enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His four-year study there included special training in lithography with noted artist Bolton Brown. Although he was offered a teaching position at the Art Institute after his graduation, Dickerson chose to return to Wichita in 1930 to teach painting and drawing at the School of the Wichita Art Association. He became director of the school in 1933, a position he held until retirement in 1971. Together with his wife, Betty Millard Dickerson, who was also a talented painter and Art Association teacher, Dickerson established the Art Association as one of the state's most important centers of studio art instruction.

William Dickerson became a leading member of the Prairie Print Makers, the Prairie Watercolor Painters and the Wichita Artists Guild. He showed his prints and paintings in major museums, art clubs and universities nationwide. He played a major role in the development of the visual arts in Wichita and in the Mountain-Plains region. He celebrated his home in Kansas and his frequent travels to New Mexico with his artwork. Dickerson's regionalist vision was inspired by the colors, textures and shapes of the faded barns, fresh-washed laundry drying in the sun, and the back alleys and byways of Wichita. He drew inspiration from the trees, gullies, long country roads in the expansive Kansas prairie and the arroyos of Northern New Mexico.

Images courtesy of Coutts Memorial Museum of Art, Inc. The Museum is located at 110 North Main Street, P. O. Box 1, El Dorado, KS 67042-0001

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 9/20/10

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