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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Lynn R. Wolfe: A Retrospective

Lynn R. Wolfe: A Retrospective

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 to Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Red Cloud Opera House Gallery
413 N Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970

The National Willa Cather Center is honored to remember the legacy of Red Cloud-born artist Lynn R. Wolfe in a posthumous retrospective. Wolfe was a self-described watercolorist, sculptor, and stained-glass artist and the work in this exhibition spans the numerous mediums and genres in which Wolfe worked, including abstract Western acrylics on canvas, watercolors, and his unique wood and acrylic sculpture. Thanks to the generosity of the Wolfe family, several of Wolfe's pieces are part of the permanent art collection at the National Willa Cather Center. Other pieces from this very collectible artist will be offered for sale. 

Click here to view the digital gallery.

About the Artist

Lynn R. Wolfe was a painter, sculptor, and stained-glass artist. His art bears influence from the prairies, badlands, mountains, and canyonlands of the American Midwest and southwest. He was born Elenore and Clyde Wolfe in 1917 in Red Cloud, Nebraska, where he grew up with his two brothers, Laird and Henry, on a dairy farm homesteaded by his great grandfather. He graduated, valedictorian from Red Cloud High School in 1935. He worked for the railroad, on a bridge construction crew, and as a University of Nebraska paleontologist digging in the badlands and empty spaces of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Texas. He served for two-and-a-half years in World War II as a photo intelligence officer assigned to the 5th Air Force in Australia, New Guinea, and New Britain. After the war, Wolfe received a scholarship to attend the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he received a Bachelor of Art degree. He followed with a fellowship and Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he spent the remainder of his professional career. He studied under the German painter Max Beckman and Russian sculptor Osipp Zadkine in Paris. Wolfe served as a Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado, where he taught for thirty-six years. In addition, he taught briefly as guest faculty in the art departments of the Universities of Nebraska, Alaska, and Hawaii. In 1967 he was honored to give the CU Research and Creative Work lecture and was designated as a “Notable Nebraskan” during the Nebraska Centennial.  Wolfe remained a prolific practicing artist even in retirement, holding a show just before his 100th birthday and continuing to paint and sculpt at his home in Boulder where he lived to the age of 102. Wolfe and his wife now rest beside one of his most cherished sculptures, a bronze wolf on their plot in the Red Cloud Cemetery. 

Programming at the National Willa Cather's Red Cloud Opera House is made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.