LINCOLN CITY- The Chessman Gallery at the Lincoln City Cultural Center is hosting a very special art exhibit exploring the life and work of well known painter, teacher and art advocate, Maude Walling Wanker (1882-1970). This show will run from May 9th to June 9th with an opening reception on Friday May 9th from 5 to 7pm. This retrospective was done in cooperation with the Artists Studio Association (which Maude Wanker founded), the Connie Hansen Gardens (originally owned by Maude wanker as her gallery/studio), the Lincoln City Historical Museum and the many generous people and organizations that have loaned pieces for this show.
Maude Walling Wanker, born in 1882 in Lake Oswego, OR. studied art at the Museum Art School with Clara Jane Stephens, at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1936 with John Bernard Hinshaw, at the University of Oregon with Steinhof, and in Vienna. She specialized in Watercolors and oils.
Maude Wanker grew up in the Tualatin Valley, where she began sketching as a child. After her marriage in 1901 and the birth of a child, she began attending the Museum Art School on an irregular basis. In 1939 she was one of the three artists chosen to represent Oregon at the fourth National Exhibition of American Art, held in New York’s Rockefeller Center. Wanker moved to the Oregon Coast and devoted much of her organizational skills to the creation of the Lincoln County Art Association in 1941 and the Lincoln Art Center in 1942. She dedicated herself to the Center for twenty-eight years. In 1945 she opened her own gallery, The Paint Box Gallery, now the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City. This became a gathering place for a colony of local artists. She also helped start many other art organizations along the coast, such as the Yaquina Art Association and the Coos Bay Art Association.
Between 1930 and 1940 Wanker painted almost one hundred depictions of Oregon’s historical sites, traveling throughout the state to record them before they disappeared. These included the Old Methodist Church, the Old Blockhouse at the Dalles, and paintings of the Skidmore Fountain in Summer and Winter, which are in the Oregon Historical Society collection. Wanker, who taught throughout her career, was a prolific painter. She exhibited her oils and watercolors in twenty states, had one-person shows in ten states and was awarded over four hundred prizes. She was an illustrator for the Ford Times. Wanker was the first president of the Master Watercolor Society of Oregon, founded in 1958.
Her work is represented in some of the most prestigious public and private collections, including, the Oregon Historical Society, the Capitol Collection, Salem, Oregon, the La Grande Library, and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University.
Maude Walling Wanker died in Lincoln City in October of 1970.