John William Winkler Biography

John William Winkler




Painter, printmaker, draftsman and craftsman, John William Joseph Winkler was born in Vienna, Austria on July 30, 1894. However, Winkler once wrote that he was born in 1894 and arrived in New York at the age of 16-1/2 years of age. This would coincide with his arrival in San Francisco in 1911. He enrolled in the Mark Hopkins Art Institute and began etching in 1912. San Francisco's Chinatown and Telegraph Hill provided him with fascinating subjects for his etchings and, while on location, he drew directly on prepared plates.

Departing for Europe in 1922, Winkler worked and roamed the countryside from England to France; it would be eight years before he returned to California. He was a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers, The California Society of Etchers, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the San Francisco Art Association and an honorary member of the Printmakers Society of California. Winkler was elected an Associate in the National Academy of Design in 1936 and to full Academician in 1951. One of the highest tributes he received was from his friend, John Taylor Arms, who proclaimed Winkler to be the "master of line," the "master of us all."

In 1955, there was an exhibition of his etchings in Holland and he had a solo exhibition in 1974 at the Achenbach Foundation. Winkler is represented in the collections of the Achenbach Foundation, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the Boston Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum, the New York Public Library, the Oakland Museum, the San Francisco Public Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

J.W. Winkler (know as "Winks") died in El Cerrito, CA in January 26, 1979.