Watercolors by Gerrit Sinclair, 1920s-1950s, A Summer Road Trip
Gerrit V. Sinclair’s paintings chronicled middle class life in Wisconsin from the 1920s through the 1950s. While he served in World War I as an ambulance driver in Italy and also spent time in Paris in 1930, Sinclair ignored modern European trends in art in favor of developing a warm figurative style that embraced the dignity of life in ordinary American towns and rural locales. Sinclair’s regionalist views of the American scene focus on the “virtues of family, patriotism, hard work and the simple pleasures of daily life”. An instructor at the Layton School of Art, Sinclair influenced numerous young artists getting their start in Milwaukee. In addition, Sinclair worked for the WPA during the Great Depression, completing murals entitled “Lumbering” and “Rural Mail” for the Federal Building in Wasau, Wisconsin.
Gerrit Sinclair’s paintings were exhibited at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh; the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair, Chicago; the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., among others.