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 Paul D. Running  (1923 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: Ohio/Minnesota/Idaho/Michigan      Known for: harbor view, landscape and portrait painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
Paul D Running
An example of work by Paul D. Running
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist, published in the Kalamazoo, Michigan Gazette, February 3, 2013, courtesy of Lee Bowen.

Paul David Running, artist/ painter and educator, died at Borgess Gardens in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on January 20th, 2013. He was born on March 22, 1923, in Sandpoint, Idaho, the fifth son of a Lutheran pastor, Alfred S. Running, and his musician wife, Julia Sophia Olson. His family moved to Minnesota in 1925, where he attended public school in the small town of Zumbrota.

Before joining the US Army Air Corps in 1942, he attended St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota for two years. As an Aviation Cadet, he received technical training at Carleton College and Yale University, and served as a Communications Officer from 1944 to 1946 in Texas and the Central Pacific. He then studied at the University of Iowa's School of Art, where he received his M.F.A. degree in painting in 1948 and the Ph.D. degree in Art History in 1951.

Dr. Running taught painting, drawing, and art history courses at universities and colleges in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and North Carolina before coming to Bowling Green State University's School of Art in 1956. At BGSU, he was responsible for the establishment of two graduate programs in art, the M.A. and the M.F.A. He retired from teaching in 1992.

In summers during the 1950's and 1960's, Dr. Running developed and conducted eight art programs in Europe. Since that time, he and members of his family continued to travel and paint frequently in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Biography from Fine Arts Collection, Luther College:
Paul D. Running was born in Sandpoint, ID, on March 22, 1923, the fifth son of the Rev. Alfred Running and Sophia Olsen Running. Both his parents were born in America but had family ties to the Trondheim and Nordfjord areas in Norway. Running received his grade school education in Zumbrota, MN, 1929-1940. He enrolled at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, in 1940, studying there until 1942. From 1943-1944 he attended Carleton College, Northfield, MN, and Yale University.

After service in the U.S. Army during World War II in Texas and the central Pacific as an Airborne Radio Marine Officer, he returned to St. Olaf and received his BA degree in 1947. He attended the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) between 1946 and 1951, receiving his MFA in painting in 1949 and PhD in art history in 1951. His dissertation was entitled, "The Flagellation of Christ: a Study in Iconography."

Running taught drawing, painting and art history since 1949 at a number of institutions including the State University of Iowa; Northern Michigan College, Marquette; St. Olaf College; Valley City (ND) College; and, East Carolina College, Greenville, NC. Since 1956, he has been a Professor of Drawing and Painting, teaching watercolor and oil painting and life drawing at Bowling Green State University. He retired in 1992. In addition to teaching, Running has been a tour conductor in Europe for New York and Minnesota travel companies (1952 and 1958) and a trans-Atlantic shipboard art lecturer and English instructor for universities, employed by the Council on Student Travel, New York (summers 1957 and 1960). He also developed and conducted art programs in Europe for BGSE in the summers of 1962, 1963, 1965, and 1967. He frequently visited Europe, painting there during many summers during his career.

Since 1948, Running has exhibited in numerous area and national shows. He has had at least 20 one-man exhibits in venues such as Greenville, NC; Toledo Museum of Art; Cortland (NY) College; St. Olaf College; Valley City (ND) College; Messiah College (PA); Hesston College (KS); the University of Dubuque; William Rainey Harper College (Chicago); Concordia College (MN); Bluffton College (OH); Channing Gallery, Toledo, OH; and, Mileti Alumni Center, Bowling Green, OH. His paintings were exhibited at Luther College in April, 1982, a one-man show focused on oil and watercolor paintings which were the result of trips to Switzerland, France and Spain.

Works by Running in the Fine Arts Collection include watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings. "Harbor at Mykonas," (1961) is an acrylic landscape donated by President Emeritus Elwin and Helen Farwell. "Weggis, Switzerland," (1963), a watercolor purchased directly from the artist for the Fine Arts Collection, represents a resort town on Lake Lucerne where the artist and his family often visited. Two different oil portraits of President Emeritus Elwin Farwell (both 1981) were also purchased from Running at the time of Farwell's retirement from the presidency at Luther College. These paintings were submitted to the Catalogue of American Portraits maintained by the National Portrait Gallery. The oil painting of Helen Farwell (1995) was donated to the Fine Arts Collection that year by the Farwells. It was intended to be displayed in the Helen Farwell Lounge in Farwell Hall at Luther College.

Ref: Running, Paul D. Resume, ca. 1992.

Written and submitted by Jane Kemp
Professor; Circulation-Special Collections Librarian
Supervisor, Fine Arts Collection (
Luther College
Decorah, IA 52101

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