Wendell H. Black Biography

Wendell H. Black




Wendell H. Black was born on March 22, 1919 in Moline, Illinois. His family moved to Davenport, Iowa when he was a boy. After graduating from Marengo, Iowa, High School he went on to the University of Iowa in 1938, studying art. His art education was interrupted by 4 years of military during WWII, where he had served as General Patton's personal cartographer. He returned to study at the University of Iowa, studying with printmaker Mauricio Lasansky, who had been hired at Iowa while Black was in the service. He graduated in 1947 with a B.A. and an M.F.A. in 1948. Black went on to teach printmaking at the University of Colorado Department of Fine Arts in Colorado Springs from 1948 until his premature death.

Wendell Black showed with the Weyhe Gallery in New York, the Seligman Gallery in Seattle, and The Gallery in Denver. His work was featured in the summer issue of Art News in 1955, and in La Revue Moderne published in Paris in 1957. Among the major institutions in which his work is represented are the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The New York Public Library, New York City; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois; as well as many other museums and numerous private collections.

Wendell Black died on January 21,1972 of a heart attack in Denver, Colorado at the age of  52.
Black, like other post-war printmakers, only printed a few impressions from the plate, often numbering them as being editioned (i.e. three proofs, numbered 3/25, 18/25, 23/25) intending to print and fill in the missing numbers as the prints sold. These were also sent to exhibitions where the artists wanted their colleagues and jurors to believe they were selling. After his death his widow Elaine and his protege, Master Printer Berkley Chappell finished editioning these and printing another 30 unproved plates.