Stevens Fine Art
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Reynold Weidenaar
Reynold Weidenaar (1915-1985)

The following is from Fred W McCraw, art writer and artist. McCraw served during Weidenaar's last years as a consultant to the artist. Then, for several years after that, he also assisted the artist's family in managing Weidenaar's estate:

Reynold Weidenaar was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 11/17/1915, and died there on 4/23/1985. He lived most of his life in west Michigan, with brief residencies away in Wisconsin, Kansas City, Missouri and in old Mexico (on a Guggenheim fellowship).

Knowing this artist during the last years of his life-his "curmudgeon years"- was a privilege. During that time, Paula Weidenaar Graf (his daughter, business manager and executrix) and I worked to secure missing signatures from the artist in order to later organize and place an archival collection of 900+ states and finals of his intaglio works in the permanent collection of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids. That collection (The Betty and Jay Van Andel Archival Collection of Weidenaar Art), additionally includes almost all of the artist's canceled plates and the press he used to produce prints. It probably is the most extensive and complete archival collection of a single artist's life work ever assembled.

Weidenaar enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute and began printmaking in 1939. From a need to work to support himself, Weidenaar worked at a job during the day and made prints on the school's press at night. He seldom was able to attend classes, but the greater benefit afforded by the school was access to a press. He produced a significant small percentage of his total life's work during that one year in Kansas City. He won national awards while still a first year student there.

Returning to Michigan, he married, fathered three children and diligently labored at recording his visions. He quickly achieved fame and acclaim. He received a long list of honors and awards and was elected to membership in the National Academy and later was elevated to its highest rank--that of full academician.
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Reynold Weidenaar was for many years an instructor in life drawing and painting at the Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids, and a private instructor as well as a book illustrator.

In addition to printmaking, he worked in watercolor and casein and did murals for several churches and businesses in Michigan.

He was a member of the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society, and art associations in a number of communities on the east and west coasts including Carmel, Gloucester, and Boston. He also was an associate member of the Prairie Printmakers.


Bio Courtesy of Ask Art

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