Some Thiebaud you may not know

Sacramento-area artist Wayne Thiebaud is well known for his vibrant pop art and masterful landscape paintings. Sixty years ago, in 1951, Thiebaud held his first one-artist exhibition, "Influences on a Young Painter" at the Crocker Art Museum. Last fall, the Crocker featured him again in their inaugural re-opening. You may also recall I've mentioned him before in a previous post on mid-century modernists in Sacramento.

In the interest of educating people about mid-20th century art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region, I'm posting some examples of Thiebaud's works in other mediums.

First, a delightful kinetic water sculpture/installation in collaboration with Jerry McLaughlin from 1952 which was on display at the California State Fair. The installation was featured in the prestigious Arts & Architecture magazine in November 1952:
"This fountain which was done as a part of the Art Exhibit at the California State Fair is an amusing and often rather wild composition in moving water. While its several parts are in motion there is a constantly maintained interest, and within the interplay dazzling confusion becomes part of a very engaging pattern and texture. The devices which are ingenious in material and form take on a lively life and vitality under the compelling movement of the water. The variety and the unexpectedness of the activity, the sometimes frantic, sometimes serene water in motion is fresh and cool and stimulating.

Thiebaud and McLaughlin have freely and playfully used the propelling water itself to move the objects, and in turn this movement within the water creates a beautiful and sometimes hilarious experience."
Next, a series of art education films featuring Mr. Stubby Pencil. These circa 1955 films featured animation by Wayne Thiebaud, Patty Thiebaud and Pat Dullanty. The Academic Film Archive of North America apparently has a copy of one of a handful of short films that they produced.

The 16 millimeter films, made over hundreds of hours in the Thiebaud's basement on Portola Way, were produced by Bailey Films, Inc. of Hollywood. Two of the films reportedly premiered in the Long Beach Film Festival. How I would love to see these films!

Finally, here is "Water City" -- a glass mosaic that wraps around the first level of the SMUD Headquarters Building in Sacramento. This piece was originally a serigraph in 1957 that served as a study for the Sacramento Municipal Water Utility Department (SMUD) mural (and a demonstration serigraph at the California State Fair). The SMUD Headquarters building, designed by Dreyfuss & Blackford, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hope you found these images of Thiebaud's lesser known works as interesting as I do! For more images, visit my Flickr set. I'll continue to add to the set as I come across other items.


undercover caterer said...

Love it, thanks! I'd never seen those sculptures before.

Gretchen said...

Thanks - me neither! I hope to find more pix of them down the line.