Lester Raymer: Quietly Outspoken
September 20, 1998 - January 10, 1999
Friends and colleagues of the artist Lester Raymer (1907-1991) revered him as a reserved and private man who refused to promote himself, declaring that his art could speak for itself. The impact of his career has proved the artist correct. From 1946 when he came to Lindsborg, Kansas, until his death in 1991, Lester Raymer made his Red Barn Studio a mecca for artists and art lovers throughout the region.
The Raymer Society for the Arts has assembled a broad survey exhibition of the artist's production titled Lester Raymer: Quietly Outspoken. Developed in collaboration with the Wichita Art Museum, this exhibition provides a rare and unique opportunity to view works by Lester Raymer on loan from private and public collections from around the nation. The presentation encompasses 119 works of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and craft illustrating all of the principal media and subjects characteristic of Raymer. The latter include his signature motif of the rooster, circus imagery, biblical themes, the culture of Mexico, Renaissance plazas, and animals.
The exhibition installation will feature an intimate photographic documentation of the garden courtyard, living quarters, and work space of Raymer's beautiful Red Barn Studio. Actual furnishings and models of furniture treated by Raymer as well as examples of the kinds of art he collected for pleasure and inspiration, such as the folk art of Mexico, have also been integrated into the display. A family interactive area, located in the exhibition space, offers visitors hands-on educational activities related to the show.
Educated in studio art and art history at the Art Institute of Chicago, Raymer set an example of single-minded devotion to the creative life of an artist. During his long career Raymer stretched the conventional boundaries of painting, printmaking, and sculpture to include innovative artistic expression including kinetic toys, carved and painted furniture, metal ornaments and hardware, papier-mache statuary, stitchery, and religious objects incorporating multiple craft techniques.
Engaging in informal instruction in the Studio, he generously shared his knowledge and vision with students and fellow artists from around the Mountain-Plains region. From this modest home base in the small Swedish-heritage community of Lindsborg, Raymer nurtured Kansans' appreciation of original art in the context of daily life.
Lester Raymer was famous for his reticence about this art. He often told reporters or visitors, "My paintings do all the talking." Lester Raymer's art will be speaking in a big way at the Wichita Art Museum from September 20, 1998 through January 10, 1999. The exhibit is. accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue available for purchase in the Museum Store.
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