Wriston Art Center galleries’ summer exhibition series features painters Lichtner and Grotenrath

The work of “Wisconsin’s first couple of painting” — Schomer Lichtner and Ruth Grotenrath — will be featured in Lawrence University’s third annual summer exhibition series at the Wriston Art Center galleries. The exhibition opens July 15 and runs through Aug 14.

A photo of Schomer Lichtner screenprint "Untitled."
Schomer Lichtner, “Untitled,” 1980, screenprint, Collection of Lawrence University.

In conjunction with Appleton Downtown Inc.’s “Art on the Town” event, the Wriston galleries will be open Friday, July 15 from 6-9 p.m.

The galleries’ summer series is designed to engage the Fox Valley community in conversation about Midwest artists and artworks.

Married in 1934, Grotenrath (1912-1988) and Lichtner (1905-2006) became known as “Wisconsin’s first couple of painting” for their prolific work. First employed as artists by the Works Project Administration during the Depression, they painted Regionalist style murals in U.S. post offices throughout the Midwest. They later taught art and design for many years in Milwaukee.

Inspired by Japanese and Persian art and culture, many of Grotenrath’s still life paintings reflect her interest in intricate patterns, bold colors and playful shifts in perspective. Lichtner’s work reveals his interest in pastoral scenes, dance and the figure. He was especially fond of incorporating ballerinas and Holstein cows in his paintings and prints. They are often shown joyfully frolicking together in a Wisconsin meadow.

During the exhibition’s run, Lawrence will host a pair of Art@Noon tours, 20-minute guided tours of the exhibition, on Thursday, July 21 and Thursday, August 11.

The works featured in the exhibition “The Artwork of Ruth Grotenrath and Schomer Lichtner” were donated to Lawrence by the Kohler Foundation, Inc.

The Wriston Art Center galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. For more information, call 920-832-6890.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.