Anton (Tony) Rajer

Year inducted: 2012

Tony studied languages, art history and conservation in Paris, Rome, Milwaukee, Mexico and Harvard.  An expert in art conservation and restoration, he worked all over the globe on projects in Panama, WPA murals throughout the Midwest, the State Capitol in Madison, sculptures in Waupun, WI, many museum assessments, and  Nek Chand sculptures in India.  Tony taught at various universities and lectured wherever he traveled, including the University of Panama, UW-Madison Continuing Education, Beloit College and in 2005 he received a U.S. State Department grant for teaching in Malaysia. Tony was a multi-year Fulbright Professor and researcher in Brazil and twice in Panama where he restored the murals and interiors in three historic buildings including the National Theatre of Panama Opera House and wrote the bilingual book Paris in Panama. As Project Director of the Wisconsin SOS! (Save Outdoor Sculpture) he co-authored Public Sculpture in Wisconsin in 1999.  His involvement in many aspects of folk and outsider art included the rescue of 9000 works by Manitowoc artist Rudy Rotter. Tony volunteered at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks where he worked with the Red Cross and FEMA as he was working on the installation of a folk art mural at the Folk Art Museum in NYC at the time of the attack. Tony’s accomplishments throughout his career touched many different communities in the States and abroad. His command of language made for rich and meaningful relationships. His dedication to historic preservation was infections wherever he went to work. His philosophy was to “look, listen, observe and recommend, always with an eye toward practical solutions that a team approach could implement.”

Works by Anton (Tony) Rajer