Charles Banks Wilson Exhibition Honors Late Artist

Ashby-Hodge Gallery Shares 52 pieces of artist’s work

Charles Banks Wilson was a man in love with the West. Although he was born and died in Arkansas, he claimed the state of Oklahoma and its history as his own and portrayed them continually through his artwork.

As part of the current show at The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art oSmiling Cowboyn Central Methodist University's Fayette campus, the Gallery celebrates Wilson's work in this year of his death last May at the age of 94.

The show runs through November 24.

Wilson studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and worked as an illustrator in New York City before coming back home to his beloved Oklahoma. He set up shop in Miami at First and Main, overlooking the famous Rte. 66, and called it his "Catbird seat" because he could watch the entire town from there.

Wilson is most known for his 1930s portrait drawings of full-blooded members of every Native American tribe in Oklahoma. These drawings became the basis for his book Search for the Purebloods. With a passion for accuracy and detail, Wilson tried to become the person he painted or drew.

He also created large murals in the Oklahoma State Capitol that depict scenes from the state's history, and famous people, including Sequoyah, Jim Thorpe, Will Rogers, and Woody Guthrie.

Wilson showed in more than 200 exhibitions worldwide, including the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The largest collection of his work resides in the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. With 52 pieces of Charles Banks Wilson's works, The Ashby-Hodge Gallery may have the second largest collection.

Wilson worked in oil, watercolor, lithography, and pencil drawings. During his lifetime, he was a painter, printmaker, teacher, lecturer, historian, and illustrator of magazines and 22 books. He founded the art department at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Okla.

The Charles Banks Wilson Exhibition is a supplement to a larger fall show at The Ashby-Hodge Gallery titled "Ingrained: Paintings by Jane Mudd and Wood Creations by Tom Stauder."

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery in Classic Hall on the CMU campus is open from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tours and special showings can be arranged by contacting either Curator Denise Gebhardt or Supervisor of the Collection Joe Geist at 660-248-2324 or 660-248-6304. The Gallery is handicapped-accessible. There is no admission charge.


Image - Smiling Cowboy by Charles Banks Wilson


Posted October 29, 2013