James Watrous

The gallery seeks artwork by James Watrous.  Please see information under SUBMISSIONS tab - Early/Regional
Thank you!


Born 1908

Died 1998

James Watrous Gallery is named after artist and art historian James Watrous (1908-1999), one of the most influential and beloved figures in Wisconsin visual art. Watrous taught art history and art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1934 to 1976 where he helped shape the departments of art history and art and mentored many students who went on to great accomplishments. He is known as "the father of the Elvehjem" for his pivotal role in establishing the Elvehjem Museum of Art (now the Chazen Museum of Art). Watrous also created many works of art in public spaces, including the Paul Bunyan Murals in the UW-Madison Memorial Union.

James Watrous was associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison for nearly seventy years. After receiving his BA, MA, and PhD at the university, he became a professor of art and art history. He was a vigorous advocate for the arts and collections stewardship. Considered the “father of the Elvehjem,” Watrous was the driving force behind the fund-raising, planning, and construction of the university’s Elvehjem Art Center, now the Chazen Museum of Art. He is also the namesake of the James Watrous Gallery at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. As an ar

James Watrous