RAM Remembers Wisconsin artist Lee Weiss

We sadly acknowledge the death of the Wisconsin artist Lee Weiss who died at the age of 90 at her Madison-area home on November 26. She was a much-respected member of Wisconsin’s visual arts community and known internationally for her large-scale watercolor paintings.

Weiss was known for her ability to capture the spiritual qualities of nature—often portraying a grand subject by looking at a smaller detail of the landscape—to communicate her responses to the place she depicted. She found inspiration in world-wide travels and also on walks through local parks and was one of the nation’s leading proponents of having watercolor viewed as an acceptable medium—alongside acrylic and oil—for the creation of paintings. In advocating this through her work, Weiss helped move watercolor from a medium that artists historically used to make preparatory studies for finished oil paintings into a material to be used for the creation of formal works.

She had a long career exhibiting in major watercolor competitions from the 1960s through 2010, including the first Watercolor Wisconsin competition at Wustum Museum in 1966. Weiss is also remembered for her role as a mentor for many younger women artists in this state and across the US in the watercolor field as she helped break barriers for women artists.

Weiss was a Dolphin Fellow of the American Watercolor Society and earned the Watercolor USA Honor Society Lifetime Award in 2009 and the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Phillips Collection, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and RAM, which holds eight examples of her work.

To learn more:

Capitol Times, Madison

Obituary for Lee Weiss