Robert Schellin was born in Akron, Ohio in 1910 and moved with his parents to Milwaukee in 1924. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the old Milwaukee State Teachers College in 1933 and a master of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His art instructors included Gustave Moeller, Elsa Ulbricht, and Robert von Neumann.
Schellin won first prize in the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptures competition in 1933 for an oil painting titled “Minerva.” The painting was later presented to the college by that year’s graduating class.
In 1935, Schellin was the center of public controversy when two of his social-protest murals containing nude female figures were covered up as part of the widely publicized “battle of the nudes” on the Milwaukee campus. Subsequently, the murals were shown in old Mitchell Hall for four years, then rolled up for storage, never to be seen again.
During the years he was not in...