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 Henry Frederick Wentz  (1876 - 1965)

About: Henry Frederick Wentz


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Lived/Active: Oregon      Known for: town-landscape, coastal views

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The philosopher behind the Oregon regionalist movement, he encouraged local artists to depict the wonders of the Oregon landscape to achieve a unique expression. His own style was abstract and consciously naive and reflected his interest in both the natural and industrial aspects of the region.

He was born in The Dalles on the Columbia River in Oregon and grew up in Portland. He studied at the Art Students League in New York with Arthur Wesley Dow, who taught him to paint simplified forms and to fill the canvas beautifully.

From 1910 to 1914, he taught at the Museum Art School, now the Pacific Northwest College of Art, in Portland, Oregon. His beach cottage at Neahkahnie on the Oregon Coast was designed by A.E. Doyle in 1916 and expressed Wentz's interest on materials and sites of the region. It is one of the earliest examples in building of the Northwest style and became the gathering place for artists interested in painting regionalist subjects.

Some of Wentz's followers included Arthur and Albert Runquist, Charles Heaney, William Givler, and Constance Fowler. In 1943, they organized as the "Oregon Artists" and had an exhibition together at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Henry Wentz is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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