James FitzGerald - "Doll Parts" c.1955
James FitzGerald was among the most innovative modern artists active in the Pacific Northwest. He attended the University of Washington, the Kansas City Art Institute, Art Center School in Los Angeles, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and Yale University as a Carnegie Fellow. He was an instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Washington and was Director of the Spokane Art Center in 1941. He produced works for various WPA art programs in Colorado, Washington, and California, and traveled to Mexico where he studied mural painting under Jose Clemente Orozco.
FitzGerald married the accomplished painter Margaret Tomkins in 1940, and the two shared a studio, first in Seattle, later on Lopez Island. A devastating fire destroyed their home studio in 1959, after which FitzGerald worked primarily in sculpture for the rest of his career. FitzGerald created several bronze fountain sculptures in Washington, including his famed “Fountain of the Northwest” for the 1962 World’s Fair, located at the Seattle Center.
FitzGerald’s exhibition history includes solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Art Museum. Selected Group exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago (where he exhibited in the important Abstract & Surrealist Art in America, 1947), Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, San Francisco Art Museum, the Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and many others. His sculptural commissions include major installations at the Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle, WA (1939); The IBM Building Seattle (1962, Minoru Yamasaki, architect); the United States Federal Building, Ogden, Utah; Princeton University; the Seattle Public Library; and numerous others.
His work is in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum; the Henry Art Gallery; the Tacoma Art Museum; the Museum of Northwest Art at LaConner, WA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the University of Maryland Art Gallery; and several others.
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