Arthur Thrall, 2005.
Arthur Thrall (born 1926 Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American painter and printmaker. His works have been shown in more than 500 exhibits in the USA and abroad including England, Finland, Germany, and numerous US embassies. His work is in collections of the Tate Gallery, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Strang Print Room of the University College London, the Pori Library (Finland), Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Library of Congress, National Collection of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Chicago Art Institute, IBM, Hilton Hotels, New York Times Company, Wilson Library (New York), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Silvermine Guild Arts Center (New Canaan), DeCordova and Dana Museum, Lessing Rosenwald and Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as numerous corporate and private collections.
Winner of many awards, Thrall also held the Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship in Graphics. He has been a member of The Boston Printmakers and the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), New York for more than 40 years, being represented in their annual shows.
In 2011, Thrall received a Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MWA) in West Bend. The MWA, the Wisconsin Visual Artists, and the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Art and Letters collaborate to make these annual awards. Also his print was included in the Society of Graphic Artists (SAGA) 78th Member Exhibition at the Prince Street Gallery in New York City. He has been exhibiting with them since 1951. Over the years their membership has included most of America's foremost printmakers including Mary Cassatt, Joseph Pennell, John Marin, Lee Chesney, Alfred Sessler, June Wayne and Childe Hassam.
Also, he was also included in Boston Printmakers 2010 thINK Show, a traveling exhibition, and in 2010–2011 he was in the Ronald L. Ruble Collection - "The Printmaking Revolution in America and the Wisconsin Presence" at the Kenosha (WI) Public Museum.
Milwaukee Journal art critic James Auer called him one of Wisconsin's artists who "defy the dictates of fashion" and "whose high-styled uses of calligraphy rival those of the great age of the Ottomans".
Thrall held the Ferrar-Marrs Chair in Fine Arts at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin until his retirement in 1990. He has been a visiting artist-teacher at the Artist's Union in Helsinki, Slade School of Art at University College and Morley College both in London, and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Over the years, Thrall has continued to have an active exhibition schedule with solo and group shows at a variety of galleries in New York, the National Printmakers Show in Hilo Hawaii, Chicago, and more recently in Rockport, Massachusetts, in Door County, Wisconsin, New Visions Gallery at the Marshfield Clinic and the Appleton Art Center's exhibition entitled "Symphony : Art and Music". Special exhibitions have been "150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking" at the University of Wisconsin at the Chason Art Museum, "The Art in Music" exhibition at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and other college and university galleries throughout Wisconsin. He was commissioned to produce an edition of prints for the Wisconsin Governor's Award for the Arts.
Books that include Thrall and his work are A Century of American Printmaking 1880–1980 by James Watrous (1984), American Prints and Printmakers by Una Johnson (1980), The Art of Written Forms by Donald Anderson (1969), The Wisconsin Story by Russell Austin (1964), and Who's Who in America in Art and Who's Who in America (continuing years).
In November 1990, Thrall returned to his native Milwaukee where he has a studio in Riverwest.
For many years music has been an inspiration for my paintings and prints. It is one of many graphic sources that have fascinated me, such as manuscripts, calligraphy, diagrams, graffiti, maps, scientific and technical charts. I freely interpret them for their gestural and textural effects rather than their literal meanings. My ideas emerge as impressionistic motifs and arrangements that echo their essence. With the musical themes, I consider them visual music or a kind of choreography. (directly from Arthur Thrall, September 2007).