James Watrous

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James Scales Watrous (August 3, 1908 – 1999) was an American painter, muralist and educator born in Winfield, Kansas. He studied at the University of Wisconsin, where he also taught art history.



Watrous painted The Story of Paul Bunyan, an egg tempera on gesso mural, consisting of nine 6′ tall panels, in 1935 with funds provided by the federal government. The mural is displayed in the Paul Bunyan Room at Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin[1]

Lumberjack Fight on the Flambeau River, egg tempera mural, painted in 1938 inside the post office in Park Falls, Wisconsin. Funded through the New Deal's "Public Works of Art Project".[2]


  • The Craft of Old-Master Drawings. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957.
  • A Century Of American Printmaking: 1880-1980. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.
  • with Andrew Stevens. American Color Woodcuts: Bounty from the Block, 1890S-1990s: A Century of Color Woodcuts. Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993.


  1. ^ McGlauflin, ed., Who’s Who in American Art 1938-1939 vol.2, Washington D.C.: American Federation of Arts, 1937.
  2. ^ https://livingnewdeal.org/projects/post-office-mural-park-falls-wi/

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