Born in Mesa, Arizona in 1920, Wayne Thiebaud started his career as a commercial artist. From 1938 to 1949, he worked as a sign painter, an illustrator, a cartoonist, a publicity manager and as an artist for Hollywood film studios. Thiebaud joined the Air Force in 1942, and spent two years there painting murals for the army. It is not difficult to detect the influence that this commercial experience had on his later paintings attributed to Pop Art; Thiebaud’s characteristic work displays consumer objects such as pies and cakes as they are seen in drug store windows. Executed during the fifties and sixties, these works slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists, suggesting that Thiebaud may have had a great influence on the movement.

From 1949 to 1950, Thiebaud studied at the San Jose State University and from 1950 to 1953 at the California State University in Sacramento. He had his first solo exhibition at the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento, and between the years of 1954 and 1957, he produced eleven educational films for which he was awarded the Scholastic Art Prize in 1961. Thiebaud lectured at the Art Department of the Sacramento City College until 1959, when he became a professor at the University of California in Davis.

Born, Mesa, Arizona 1920


National Medal for Arts Presidential Award, from President Clinton

Honorary Doctorate, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

Honorary Doctorate, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

Honorary Doctorate, California College of Art and Crafts, San Francisco, CA

Master of Arts, California State University

Bachelor of Arts, California State University

Selected Solo Exhibitions
Wayne Thiebaud, Paintings and Pastels, John Berggreun Gallery, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Prints, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Prints, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud: 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud: Recent Work, San Francisco Museum of Art, San
Francisco, CA

Wayne Thiebaud Graphics: 1964-1971, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud: Recent Paintings, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions
Art Basel Miami Beach, John Berggruen Gallery, Miami, FL
Summer Show, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY

The Art of Giving, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY
The Road to Here, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY

Summer in the City, John Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY

The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Thirty-Five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition 1955-62, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

United States Representative, Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil

Northern California Painters’ Annual, Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA

Influences on a Young Painter, E.B. Crocker Art Gallery, CA

Artists under Thirty-three, E.B. Crocker Art Gallery, CA

Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Public Collections

Poses Institute of Art, Brandies University, Waltham, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Myra Morgan Gallery, Shawnee Mission, KS
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Douglas Drake Gallery, Kansas City, KS
University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, IL
Aldrick Museum of Contemporary Art, Richfield, CT
Standford University, Stanford, CA
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Shasta College, Shasta, CA
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery and Atkins Museum of Fine Art, Kansas City, MO
Albrecht Museum, St. Joseph, MO
Nebraska Art Association, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO
Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ
The New Milwaukee Art Center Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Miwaukee Institute of Art, Miwaukee, WI
Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photography Division, Washington, D.C.
Museum of Modern Art, Washington, D.C.
Utah Museum of Fine Art, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Texas Institute of Contemporary Art, Dallas, TX
Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX
Albright-Knox Museum, The Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts, Buffalo, NY
American Broadcasting Company, New York, NY
Art Investments Ltd., Houston, TX
Collectors’ Cooperative, Houston, TX
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
Contemporary Arts Association, Houston, TX
Menil Foundation, Houston, TX
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
New York Studio School, New York, NY
Hanford Yang Foundation, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud has been associated with Pop Art, but has also been seen, due to his true to life representations, as a predecessor of photorealism. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included. Objects are simplified into basic units but appear varied using seemingly minimal means; one influence on Thiebaud’s still life paintings may be Giorgio Morandi, whose contemplative, palpable and delicate works share many characteristics with those of Thiebaud. Today, Wayne Thiebaud lives and works in California.