BORN: 1918, in Sheboygan, WI
DIED: 1996, in Sun City. Arizona
Earl Gessert’s artistic ability was acknowledged at a young age as he loved to paint his surroundings with watercolors. His mother brought his art to her employer, Charlotte Kohler, wife of the Governor of Wisconsin Walter J. Kohler. Mrs. Kohler encouraged Earl to continue his creative studies.
He enrolled at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, but Gessert was drafted into the army in 1943, which put his art education on hold. While overseas, he sketched scenes to paint upon his return - however, many were lost in battle. He suffered an injury and was soon discharged. Upon returning home, Gessert renewed his studies at Layton School of Art and graduated in 1948 or 1949.
However, he soon discovered he would need more than an art career to support his wife and children. After working many odd jobs, he settled into a career as a milkman which he did in the mornings prior to teaching. He taught at the Layton School of Art for 15 years and painted the day away. He soon had a reputation as “Milwaukee’s Milkman Artist”.
Gessert’s works in watercolor won many awards. He exhibited in Milwaukee, in galleries across the United States, and all over the world. He loved to paint industrial and street scenes - sometimes with abstracted techniques.
Not only did he...