|Wendell E. Wilson
Wendell Eugene Wilson was born in Minnesota in 1946, and began collecting minerals in 1956. A life-long artist, he studied at the Minneapolis Institute of Art while still in high school and began selling his artworks as a young teenager. He won numerous awards in art, including first place in a statewide cartooning competition in 1959. In college he pursued a double-major in Fine Art and Geology at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1969. He earned his M.S. in Mineralogy (1972) from Arizona State University, while field-collecting extensively in Arizona's many abandoned mines and famous mineral localities. After obtaining his PhD in Mineralogy (1976) from the University of Minnesota, he was hired by the Mineralogical Record and is currently in his 35th year as full-time Editor-in-Chief (1976-2010), and his 26th as Publisher and corporation CEO.
In addition to collecting minerals, Wilson built substantial collections of mining artifacts of all kinds, and published three books on antique miners' lamps, containing hundreds of hand-drawn pen-and-ink illustrations of miners' oil-wick “frog” lamps, candleholders, and carbide cap lamps. Some of his collectibles appear as props in his paintings of underground scenes. His first mineral painting appeared on the cover of the November-December 1972 issue of Mineralogical Record. His series of fantasy mineral-collecting scenes now numbers 14, and he has produced numerous specimen portraits in oil on canvas, watercolor, India ink and mixed media, as well as a number of highly detailed mining still life paintings in oil on canvas, oil on copper, and India ink. Over the years Wilson has continued to produce artworks regularly as time permits. He also founded the Antiquarian Reprint Series as a method of preserving and distributing very rare, early illustrated mineral books, featuring mineral art from before the age of photography. Wilson has published over 1,000 mineral and mining artworks, and over 6,500 mineral photographs. The new mineral species wendwilsonite was named in his honor in 1987 and he was the recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2001. Wilson continues to publish the Mineralogical Record and to write about, paint, research, photograph and collect minerals in Tucson, Arizona (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mitchell, R. S. (1988) Who's who in mineral names: Wendell Eugene Wilson, Jr. and Ignacio Domeyko. Rocks & Minerals, 63, 400-402.
Robinson, S. (1987) Mineral art today. Rocks & Minerals, 62, 328-343.
Robinson, S. (1987) Of mines and men: a look at art that depicts mining. Rocks & Minerals, 64, 476-495.
|Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.|
Number of artworks found: 97 | Artworks being viewed: 1 to 8
||Red Cloud Wulfenite|
Oil on canvas, about 32 x 32 inches (1975), painted from a miniature specimen in the Grant Richards collection; painting in the Grant Richards collection. Copyright 1975 Wendell E. Wilson.
Oil on canvas (1974), 19 x 27 inches, depicting a wulfenite specimen from the Hilltop mine, Arizona, in the Smithsonian collection. Published on the cover of the November-December 1991 Mineralogical Record. Originally painted on commission for the late Walter Dietrick; now in the artist's collection, courtesy of Jane Dietrick. Copyright 1974 Wendell E. Wilson.
Oil on canvas, about 21 x 32 inches (1977), painted from a 2-inch specimen of calcite from Chihuahua, Mexico in the collection of Miriam and Julius Zweibel. Painting now in the collection of Daniel Trinchillo. Copyright 1977 Wendell E. Wilson.
Oil on masonite panel, about 24 x 30 inches (1973). Painted from a 2.2-inch specimen of wulfenite and mimetite from the Rowley mine, Arizona, in the Smithsonian collection (ex Susie Davis collection). Published in the January-February 1974 issue of Mineralogical Record. Painting now in the Mark Mauthner collection. Copyright 1973 Wendell E. Wilson.
||The Bancroft Rhodochrosite|
Oil on canvasboard, 11 x 14 inches (1978). This specimen from the Sweet Home mine in Colorado was, at the time, the finest known example of rhodochrosite in the world. The specimen is now in the Houston Museum of Natural Science collection. Painted for David Wilber, now in the William Larson collection. Copyright 1978 Wendell E. Wilson.
Oil on canvasboard, 16 x 20 inches (1974). Painted from a thumbnail specimen of yellow wulfenite crystals with red centers, unique to the 79 mine in Arizona. Current specimen owner: unknown. Painting: Don Olson collection. Copyright 1974 Wendell E. Wilson.
||79 Mine Wulfenite |
Oil on canvasboard, 11 x 14 inches (1974). Painted from a self-collected thumbnail specimen of wulfenite from the 79 mine, Arizona. Current specimen owner: unknown. Current painting owner: Victor Yount. Copyright 1974 Wendell E. Wilson.
Oil on canvasboard, 11 x 14 inches (1974). Painted from a miniature specimen of mimetite from Tsumeb, Namibia in the Smithsonian collection. Painting: William Larson collection. Copyright 1974 Wendell E. Wilson.