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 Vernon Rinehardt (Vern) Wosnak  (1906 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: palette knife painting-western, history, nude figure

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Vernon Rinehardt (Vern) Wosnak
An example of work by Vernon Rinehardt (Vern) Wosnak
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography was prepared by Edward Wosnak, eldest son of the artist, Vernon Wosnak.

Vernon "Vern" Rinehardt Wosnak was born July 24, 1906 in Oakland CA to parents Edward A. and Anna C. (Michelson) Wosnak.  He and younger sister Marian were raised in Oakland, CA.  Vernon passed away in a Los Angeles nursing home, near his son Mike, at the age of 85, three months after his wife died.
 
Vern was educated as an artist and was also a talented trombonist, traveling extensively and playing with a swing band in his 20's.  He was a tall, lithe, outgoing man who loved the California sun and waxing his car every weekend.  He walked with a stiff limp after suffering a broken leg in a toboggan accident in his early 30's.  He was a devoted husband, loving wonderful father, friendly, kind, humorous, generous, and had many friends. He loved animals, especially horses and dogs.
 
Vern overcame many obstacles in his life.  In the early 50's, he lost his job and home as a result of alcoholism, causing the family to flee and survive in the family car for a short period.  Vern entered rehab in Camarillo CA and was sober and successful the remainder of his life. 
 
Family:
 
Vern was briefly married in 1933, in Oakland CA, to Barbara and may have had a son with her.  He married the love of his life, Vere Fahey, in 1938 in Los Angeles and was married 53 years.  They had three sons together:  Edward born 1939, Mikhail (Mike) born 1943, both born in Hollywood, CA, and Vernon "Veep", born 1954 in West Bronx, NY.  Vern was predeceased by his wife, Vere, and youngest son, Veep.  He is survived by his sons Edward (wife Marla), of La Pine OR, and Mike (wife Jo Ann), of Simi Valley CA. 
 
Artwork 
 
Vern was an avid artist who painted an extensive range of subjects his entire adult life, including nudes.  His unique style was accomplished most often with a pallete knife instead of a brush.  Much of his later art was influenced by life in Big Fork, Montana.  His art of this time was western themed, containing images of native Americans, horses, sporting ladies, and the Oregon Trail.  He had many gallery showings while living in Montana.  His art hung in the local bank, and he often exchanged paintings for rent during this time.
 
Where Lived and Worked:
 
Vernon was a commercial art director most of his working years and designed labels for well-known products, including New York and California beers, soft drinks, peanut butter and many others.  His art is likely to be found in the many locations where he lived and worked during his long life:
 
1985-1992, McMinnville, OR, Occupation:  Artist, retired
1976-1985, Big Fork, MT, Occupation:  Artist, retired
1968-1976, Balboa, CA, Occupation:  Commercial Artist, retired during this time period
1966-1968, Tiburon, CA, Occupation:  Commercial Artist, San Francisco, CA
1956-1966, Norwalk, CT, Occupation:  Art Director, Schmidt Lithograph Co., New York, NY
1954-1955, West Bronx, NY, Occupation:  Art Director, Schmidt Lithograph Co., New York,
1952-1953, Camarillo, CA, Occupation:  Alcohol rehabilitation
1938-1951, Los Angeles, CA, Occupation:  Art Director, Emil Brisacher, Wheeler & Staff, Los Angeles, CA
1931-1937, San Francisco and Oakland, CA, Occupation:  Commercial Artist
1924-1930, San Francisco and Oakland, CA ~~ traveling with swing band, Occupation:  Artist, trombonist


These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in California on July 24, 1906. A resident of San Francisco in 1931-35, Wosnak then moved across the bay to Alameda. He died in Ventura County, CA on Feb. 10, 1992.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; Death record.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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