Schomer Lichtner

Year inducted: 2006
1905-

Schomer Lichtner has been a constant presence and influence in Wisconsin art since the 1920’s. He studied at the Milwaukee State Teacher’s College, the Milwaukee Art Student’s League, the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Art Student’s League and University of Wisconsin, Madison. In the early 1960’s he taught at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. In the 1930’s, together with his wife, Ruth Grotenrath, he became involved in the Treasury Relief Art Project, the Public Works Art Project and the Federal Works Progress Administration art program. He was a muralist creating many serious large works in public and private buildings. Schomer worked in his own regionalist style, dealing with the virtues of rural, middle class life, but was among the first generation of Wisconsin artists to break from the tradition of German academies. Schomer’s best known creations will always be recognized as part of the Modernist movement with imagery that includes elements of whimsy and humor, a sense of the potency of color, freedom and energy. Two of his trademark motifs, black and white patterned Holstein cows and slender ballet dancers, have been recurrent themes. His dogged production, longevity, and positive nature, have made him and his work distinctive and much loved.

Works by Schomer Lichtner