The first elected artist member of the Prairie Print Makers, William Dickerson (1904–1972) expressed a muted eloquence in unadorned scenes of both his native Kansas and New Mexico. This exhibition, guest curated by Barbara Thompson, continues WAM’s series highlighting this important artistic group. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue written by Thompson, granddaughter of fellow Prairie Print Maker C.A. Seward.
Dickerson was born in El Dorado, Kansas, in 1904 and resided in the state for most of his life, except for his time at the Art Institute of Chicago. In Chicago, Dickerson studied lithography under the renowned printmaker Bolton Brown, later becoming Brown’s assistant. Upon graduation, Dickerson was offered a teaching position at the school. He declined and returned to Wichita to accept a position at the Wichita Art Association. He remained dedicated to his community throughout his life. His mastery of lithography was renowned, and his reputation in this process earned him entry into the famous Wichita group, the Prairie Print Makers. In his art, Dickerson was committed to depicting Kansas and the surrounding region as he saw it, unfiltered by European traditions.
This exhibition presents an in-depth look at Dickerson’s work. Though it focuses on his mastery of lithography, his etchings and block prints underscore his unique artistic vision and his skill in printmaking.