This biographical information is submitted in May of 2006 by:
Susan Kurtzman, Curator, Highland House Museum, Truro, MA
It was co-authored by Milton’s widow Breene Wright and son, Lorin Wright, edited by Susan Kurtzman
Milton Wright 1920 – February 20, 2005
Milton Wright was born in Dayton Ohio in 1920.He exhibited an early talent in drawing, began classes at the Dayton Art Institute when he was just seven years old.
He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1942 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he met his mentor and lifelong friend, Marston “Bud” Hodgin, a painter and also the Dean of Fine Arts at Miami University. During WWII, Wright was drafted into the Army Air Corps Training Film Unit in Denver, Colorado and spent his weekends sketching abandoned silver mining towns of the area. In 1944, the Denver Art Museum mounted a successful solo exhibit of paintings and prints based on those sketches.
After the war, he moved to New York where he married Breene Loughridge. The couple sailed to Paris, France in 1948 where Milton studied painting at the Academie Julian for two years under the GI Bill. Milton’s French oils, watercolors and drawings were shown in Paris at the Galerie Ariel in 1950. Painting en plein air under the Mediterranean sun radically changed Milton’s palette and creative vision. The intensity, clarity, tone and transparency of his work changed with the atmosphere and light of the region.
Returning to New York City, Milton began teaching at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1950. During a teaching career that spanned more than 20 years, he taught painting and drawing at Brooklyn Poly Prep, Queen’s College, Long Island University, Brooklyn campus.
Breene Wright has said that Milton painted every day of his life. While maintaining an active teaching career and helping to raise a daughter and son, Milton continued to paint, in Brooklyn, in New York City, in Provincetown and in his studio next to the family’s summer cottage in North Truro on Cape Cod. In 1977 Milton retired from teaching and moved his family to Great Hollow, North Truro, where he was actively involved in the community and in serving on the Board of Directors of the Truro Historical Society. He was often asked to speak about his famous grand-uncles, Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers of flight, and to share the artifacts of the Wright Brothers with the local school children.
Milton Wright’s work captured the spirit and the mutability of the landscape wherever he painted. He referred to himself as a “colorist”. His works from the 1950 and 60s of are fascinating documentations of the era including the building of the Verrazano Bridge, the dredging of the East River, street scenes of Brooklyn, and the dock workers and active fishing fleet scenes of Provincetown. These oils and watercolors exhibit a strong palette with Cubist overtones, which are very different from his later works which were more impressionistic in style. His energetic and almost frenetic brushwork in the later works was a unique method he developed that heightened his bold use of color making each blade of grass stand out along the dunes as an integral part of the Cape Cod landscape, drenched in sunlight and shadow. He is best known for his oils and watercolors.
Selected one-man shows in the US include:
A.F.I. Gallery, NYC
Bodley Gallery, NYC
Galerie Neuf, NCY
Harry Salpeter Gallery, NYC
Left Bank Gallery, Wellfleet MA
Teichman Gallery, Brewster, MA
The Schoolhouse Gallery, Truro, MA
Selected National Exhibitions include:
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA
Denver Art Museum
Dayton Art Institute ( FIRST PRIZE and PURCHASE for COLLECTION)
Cocoran Gallery, Washington, DC
Queens College, NY
Selected Public and Private Collections include:
Dayton Art Institute,
Long Island University,
Highland House Museum, Truro, MA
Town Hall, Truro, Cornwall, England
Del Banco Family Collection
Provincetown Art Association and Museum