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 William J. Zeigler  (1911 - 1999)

About: William J. Zeigler
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: landscapes, cityscapes, whimsy, allegory, still life

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

William J. Zeigler (Bill) was first recognized for his watercolors and drawings of Manayunk, Society Hill, and other areas of Philadelphia.  Drawing was the backbone of his work, and color was very important.  He used both to move the viewer around the work and to its focus.  Whimsy often characterized his later work, and paintings such as “Arrowhead Universe” and “Stable Such a Striped Steed”, which carried deeper meaning,  were sometimes biographical.

Bill grew up in Philadelphia. Drawing and painting were important to him at a very early age. He turned down an art scholarship upon graduation from high school in order to help support the family.  Later, he married M. Louise Sell, had a daughter, Louise Anne, and graduated from Drexel University.  As a Registered Architect with the Philadelphia firms of Wenner and Fink and, subsequently, Thalheimer and Weitz, he made significant contributions to ecclesiastical and commercial design in Philadelphia and on the East Coast (Lord and Taylor, Penn State, Wernersville State Hospital, etc.). He studied painting at the Tyler School of Fine Arts (Temple University) primarily under Fuhrman Fink, and at the Graphic Sketch Club (now Fleischer Memorial). After health problems set him back in 1963, he set up a practice in his home and also began to devote more time to his art.

Nationally, he exhibited at American Watercolor Society, National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Butler Institute of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Mainstreams” – Marietta, Ohio, The Allied Artists of America, Inc., National Arts Club, N.Y., and Easton Academy of Arts.  In the Philadelphia area he exhibited with Philadelphia Watercolor Club, Philadelphia Sketch Club, The Plastic Club, Woodmere Art Museum, Berman Art Museum, Moore College of Art, Chester County Art Association, the former Philadelphia Art Teachers Association, the American College at Bryn Mawr, Noyes Museum of Art, and local galleries and art centers.  He was the recipient of many awards, and his work is in the permanent collection at Woodmere Art Museum.
 
Membership in professional organizations included American Watercolor Society American Watercolor Society (Active/Signature Member), National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, and Philadelphia Watercolor Club (holding offices of Secretary, Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors).  He was a member of the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Woodmere Art Museum.  Prior to its conversion from “Woodmere Art Gallery” to “Woodmere Art Museum” he served as Interim Director, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and as co-chairman of its Exhibition Committee.  He was one of the founders and former president of the Manayunk Art Center, and was a member of Chester County Art Association. He taught painting and drawing classes at Woodmere Art Museum, Morris Arboretum, and local art centers, and served as a juror for many professional shows.

In 1984, he moved from Philadelphia -- where he had developed an attachment to the city, to Chester County -- where he was enthralled with the landscape. He never lost his eye for beauty in his surroundings and never stopped growing and expanding in creativity.  His drive to explore new ways of expressing himself, and the love of his wife, Louise, kept him going in spite of many health challenges. He had a life long passion for painting and absorbed everything he could read and experience, not only in the art world, but also in a broad range of subjects that enriched his work.  He was a deep thinker -- widely read -- and he remembered it all.

Exhibited:
Nationally at American Watercolor Society, National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Butler Institute of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Mainstreams” – Marietta, Ohio, The Allied Artists of America, Inc., National Arts Club, N.Y., and Easton Academy of Arts.  In the Philadelphia area with Philadelphia Watercolor Club, Philadelphia Sketch Club, The Plastic Club, Woodmere Art Museum (Solo), Berman Art Museum, Moore College of Art, Chester County Art Association, the former Philadelphia Art Teachers Association, the American College at Bryn Mawr, Noyes Museum of Art, and local galleries and art centers. 

Work represented in the collections of:
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadephia, PA; Blue Cross Blue Shield

Memberships:
American Watercolor Society (Active/Signature Member), National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, and Philadelphia Watercolor Club (holding offices of Secretary, Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors).  He was a member of the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Woodmere Art Museum.  Prior to its conversion from “Woodmere Art Gallery” to “Woodmere Art Museum” he served as Interim Director, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and as co-chairman of its Exhibition Committee.  He was one of the founders and former president of the Manayunk Art Center, and was a member of Chester County Art Association.

Written and compiled by Louise Zeigler Walker

www.williamjzeigler.com


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