The following information was submitted in July of 2006 by David Martin:James Herbert FitzGerald (1910-1973)
Painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, craftsman.
James FitzGerald along with his wife, Margaret Tomkins were among the most innovative modern artists active in the Pacific Northwest.
He attended the University of Washington; the Kansas City Art Institute; Art Center School in Los Angeles, with Thomas Hart Benton, Henry Varnum Poor, Boardman Robinson; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Yale University (Carnegie Fellow).
He was an instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Washington and was Director of the Spokane Art Center in 1941.
He produced works for various WPA art programs in Colorado, Washington state and California. He traveled to Mexico where he studied mural painting under Jose Clemente Orozco.
His exhibition history includes several solo exhibitions including the Seattle Art Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Art Museum.
Selected Group exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago where he exhibited in the important Abstract & Surrealist Art in America, 1947, Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, San Francisco Art Museum , Munson, Williams, Proctor Institute, Utica, NY , the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Brooklyn Museum and many others.
His Sculptural commissions include the Lake Washington Floating Bridge relief sculptures, Seattle, WA, 1939; The IBM Building, Seattle,1962 (Minoru Yamasaki, architect), United States Federal Building, Ogden, Utah, Princeton University; the Seattle Public Library and numerous others.
His work is in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, The Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Northwest Art, LaConnor, WA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, the University of Maryland Art Gallery, and several others.
In 1959, a devastating fire destroyed the home and studios of FitzGerald and his wife Margaret Tomkins, where they lost the majority of their earlier works.