Wayne Thiebaud, the renowned artist who made his home in Sacramento but whose work has been featured in exhibitions and on gallery walls around the world, died on Christmas at the age of 101.
Thiebaud’s iconic paintings of California topography and everyday pleasures like picnics, cakes, and ice cream represented a distinctive slice of 20th century pop art. He broke through as a major artist in the early 1960s, but according to his gallery never adopted the mantle of American pop artist, preferring instead “describe oneself as a traditional painter of illusionistic forms. “
The Sacramento State graduate taught at UC Davis and resided in River City. the Crocker Art Museum last year, presented his work as part of a retrospective celebrating his 100th anniversary.
The New York Times confirmed The death of Thiebaud with his Gallery.
CapRadio recently interviewed the founder of Davis Manetti Shrem Museum and the executive director of Crocker on their respective Thiebaud exhibitions.
Former student Vonn Cummings Sumner, who took part in the Shrem exhibit, told CapRadio that Thiebaud has focused on empathy in his work and making art accessible to everyone.
“Wayne was so good at emphasizing that art is about life too. It should be important to our daily existence,” Sumner said. “It’s not an ivory tower that only exists for artists, but has to be accessible and available to connect with anyone.”
Sacramentians remember Thiebaud on social media.
Liv Moe, Executive Director of the Verge Center for the Arts, wrote that she “woke up to the news of Thiebaud’s death. Wayne was one of my favorite teachers, showing me how to translate what I see on the page, something I could barely do before. Our last exchange was so pleasant & I’m sad that Covid has separated us for the past two years. RIP Wayne.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg: “Wayne Thiebaud was not only a brilliant artist, but a wonderful man who remained devoted to Sacramento and its surrounding landscapes despite the lure of fame and fortune. His life was well lived. We will miss him.
John Myers, Los Angeles Times Editor-in-Chief called Thiebaud “a Sacramento treasure. The capital lost two of its most iconic creative forces – Wayne Thiebaud and Joan Didion – in a matter of days. “
Advisor Angelique Ashby: “101 years old… what an incredible life. Thank you Wayne Thiebaud for giving @TheCityofSac so much beauty. “
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