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 J. Walter Wilkinson  (1892 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Maryland      Known for: commercial art-outdoor advertising, illustration

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Ad Code: 4
J Walter Wilkinson
from Auction House Records.
Woman in costume holding
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted September 2004, is from Virginia Wilkinson Frederick, relative of the artist.

J. Walter Wilkinson was born on January 19, 1892, in Pocomoke City on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  The family moved to Baltimore where his father was prominent in the legislature and was, at one time, Chairman of the House in Annapolis.

J. Walter Wilkinson studied art in Italy, worked for an advertising agency in Philadelphia, and, in 1914, married Frances Gandy, the eldest daughter of George S. Gandy of Philadelphia.  They had a daughter, Virginia, who, at the age of 16, was the model for the Saturday Evening Post cover of October 29, 1932.

His son, Walter G. Wilkinson, who also became an artist, worked with his father a number of years.  They had a unique signature of two figures with a paint brush over their shoulders and an s added to the Wilkinson name.

During the Second World War, as a contribution to the war effort, they produced six paintings which were used to sell war bonds.  These paintings were displayed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington in 1985 and now rest in their archives.

The Wilkinsons became well known in the Outdoor Advertising field and received top awards in 1950 and 1951.

Walter G. Wilkinson died of cancer in 1971 and J. Walter Wilkinson, after painting a self portrait, died in 1988.

Note submitted November 2004 from James N. Frederick, maternal grandson of J.W. Wilkinson.

"Virginia Wilkinson Frederick is the only Daughter of J.W. Wilkinson.  Born
July 28, 1915, she was used in many of his paintings.  J.W. Wilkinson was a constant painter for the covers of many popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Magazine and Ladies Home Journal.

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