Gerrit Van W. Sinclair

Year inducted: 2009
1890-1955

After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1910-1915, Gerrit Sinclair served in World War I in an ambulance corps and later recorded his experiences in a series of oil paintings. He taught in Minneapolis before arriving in Milwaukee in 1920 to become a member of the original faculty of the Layton School of Art. He was also a member of the Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors. Sinclair's paintings and drawings were executed in a lyrical, representational style, usually expressing a mood rather than a narrative. His paintings reveal a great sensitivity for color and atmosphere. His subject matter focused on cityscapes, industrial valleys, and working-class neighborhoods, captured from eye-level. A decade before the popularity of Regionalism, Sinclair's strong interest in the community was reflected not only in his paintings, but also in his encouragement of students to return to their communities as artists and teachers. Joseph Friebert, Karl Priebe, Edmond Lewandowski, Burton Potterveld, Alfred Sessler, Gerhard Bakker and Fred Berman all studied under Sinclair, establishing him as a leading educator as well as an artist.

Works by Gerrit Van W. Sinclair