Wisconsin Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland
May 16, 2015 – July 19, 2015
In this exhibition, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art presents a selection of Lois Ireland’s Wisconsin landscape paintings. Ireland, born in Waunakee, Wisconsin and spending the majority of her life in the state, is known for her regionalist scenes of the 1940s and 50s. In 1942, at the age of fourteen, she caught the attention of John Steuart Curry, the first artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Curry encouraged her to study art and brought her into the newly-formed Wisconsin Regional Art Program. She began painting and produced her most important regionalist work over the next decade, extending the American Scene idioms of Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood. During this time she studied art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at the Art Students League in New York. Although Ireland continues to paint today at the age of eighty-six, she is best known for her lyrical and nostalgic portrayals of an earlier rural Wisconsin.