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Richard H. Jansen (1910 - 1988)

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

9. Key West, c. 1935

Watercolor and gouache on paper, 20 x 26 inches (unframed sheet), 28 ½ x 34 ½ inches (framed), signed and titled lower right



i) an exhibition of watercolors by Milwaukee artists from the Layton Art Gallery at the Art Room of the Kenosha Historical and Art Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin, April, 1937 (see Watercolors Form Exhibit at Museum, Kenosha News (Kenosha, Wisconsin), April 21, 1937 – listing a work with this title); ii) an exhibition of eighteen watercolors by Wisconsin artists at the Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin, in October, 1937 - see a) Watercolor Display at Neville Museum Sunday Opening to Feature Wisconsin Artists’ Work, Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Wisconsin), October 15, 1937 – “Richard Jansen’s ‘Key West’ is one of the high spots of the exhibition. Mr. Jansen lived at Key West for some time and worked as an artist on a government project. His picture is literally bathed in the warm tropical sunshine so familiar to all visitors to southern Florida.” and b) Art Exhibit at Museum, Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Wisconsin), October 16, 1937 – listing a work with this title)

About the Artist

Richard H. Jansen was born in 1910 in Wisconsin. He graduated from the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. In 1934, Jansen was employed by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and was sent to Key West, Florida where he painted the local scene and murals of the history of Key West. Jansen continued to paint murals throughout the Midwest after his departure from Florida, including the Reedsburg, Wisconsin Post Office and the Sauk Centre, Minnesota Post Office. When he was drafted into the Army during World War II, Jansen served as an artist-correspondent. After the war, he tried his hand at advertising and his clients included Remington Firearms, Miller High Life, and more. In 1957, he joined the National Park Service where he painted 12 dioramas which are on display in Visitor Centers throughout the country. In 1970, he became the head illustrator for the Agriculture Department where he worked till his retirement in 1975. Jansen is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and other standard references.


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