Charles Wysocki (artist)

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Charles Wysocki
Charles M. Wysocki, Jr.

(1928-11-16)November 16, 1928
DiedJuly 29, 2002(2002-07-29) (aged 73)
Resting placeMountain View Cemetery, Altadena, California
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationCass Technical High School
Alma materArt Center College of Design

Charles M. Wysocki, Jr. (November 16, 1928 – July 29, 2002) was an American painter, whose works depict a stylized version of American life of yesteryear. While some of his works show horseless carriages, most depict the horse and buggy era.


Charles M. Wysocki, Jr., was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Charles M. Wysocki and Mary K. Wysocki. His father was born in Poland, while his mother was born in Kansas to Polish-born parents.[1]

At Cass Technical High School in Detroit he studied art. In 1950 while working in local art studios, he was drafted into the Army and spent his two-year hitch in West Germany. After his service he went to the Art Center School in Los Angeles under the G.I. Bill, where he studied to be a commercial illustrator. After working in that field in Detroit for four years, he returned to Los Angeles where he helped to form a freelance advertising agency.[2]

In 1960, he met Elizabeth G. Lawrence, an art graduate of UCLA,[3] whom he married on July 29 of that year in Los Angeles.[4] Through his wife whose family were early settlers in the San Fernando Valley, Wysocki came to appreciate a simpler, more rural life than that of the big city. Together they made many trips to New England, which served to nurture his interest in early American folk art. For a while, he continued his lucrative commercial art work while developing his primitive art in his spare time. Eventually, though he devoted all of his attention to this new interest. His work was marketed and licensed by AMCAL, Inc. and for a time by the Greenwich Workshop, Ltd.[2]

His books include An American Celebration: The Art of Charles Wysocki.[5]

Works from his cat collection include Frederick the Literate, a mackerel tabby asleep on a book case.[6]

Although An American Celebration met with much success, Publishers Weekly dubbed him a faux naïve artist.[7][8]

He died a resident of Joshua Tree, California.[9] He was survived by his wife and their three children.[2]


  1. ^ 1930 U.S. Census for Wayne County, Michigan, Precinct 14, Detroit, Ward 16
  2. ^ a b c Charles Wysocki History by Matt Wysocki Archived November 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Charles Wysocki - Featured Artist 1928 - 2002
  4. ^ California Marriage Index
  5. ^ An American Celebration: The Art of Charles Wysocki, illustrated by Charles Wysocki, text by Betty Ballantine, Trumbull, Connecticut: Greenwich Press Ltd, 1985, 192 pp., ISBN 0-89480-942-3
  6. ^ Frederick the Literate
  7. ^ As quoted in
  8. ^ "As quoted in Barnes and Noble". Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
  9. ^ Social Security Death Index

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