Wayne Thiebaud was born in Mesa, Arizona in 1920 and has spent most of his life in California. His artistic leanings were originally inspired by cartoons and comic strips such as George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat.” The teenage Thiebaud established himself as a cartoonist, working for a brief time as an animator for the Walt Disney studios and drawing a regular comic strip during his World War II stint in the Army Air Force. He also spent time as a poster designer and commercial artist in both California and New York before eventually deciding to become a painter.
Thiebaud’s formal art training was provided under the GI Bill at San Jose State College and the California State College in Sacramento. He received a teaching appointment at Sacramento Junior College in 1951, while still in graduate school, and has since enjoyed a long and distinguished teaching career. In 1990, Thiebaud retired from full-time teaching at the University of California at Davis, but continues to teach on an emeritus part-time basis.
His paintings can be found in public collections across the country, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and have been featured in numerous nationally touring exhibitions. Throughout his career, he has been honored with a number of awards for his artistic and teaching achievement. (The Phillips Collection)
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