RAM Remembers Warrington Colescott

We sadly acknowledge the death, earlier this fall, of Wisconsin artist Warrington Colescott who died at his home in Hollandale, near Madison on September 10. He was 97. Colescott was a greatly admired member of Wisconsin’s visual arts community from the time he came here to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1949 until his death. He was known internationally for his work in the etching medium and for creating beautifully drawn satirical prints that commented on the political and social issues of his time. He was also known for making series of graphics devoted to specific subjects, including Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, John Dillinger, and the history of printmaking. In this way he recalled great graphic artists who preceded him including William Hogarth, Honoré Daumier, and Thomas Nast.

Colescott’s work influenced subsequent generations by its inclusion in exhibitions and museum collections around the world. During his 37 years on the UW faculty, he became part of a group of artist/teachers who created a famed center for printmaking at the Madison campus that has nurtured multiple generations of students. These likeminded souls included his wife, the artist and Racine native, Frances Myers who died in 2014. Colescott’s work can be found in the major print collections of many museums around the world. His work, which we have featured in numerous exhibitions at both of our campuses since 1975, is represented in RAM’s permanent collection by over 90 examples dating from 1961 through 2000.