Ronald Walsh: A Painter Rediscovered
Presented by Lesley University at Lesley University College of Art and Design Gallery
January 26 - February 18, 2012
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University presents the paintings of regionally-renowned artist Ronald Walsh (1932-1997) in an exhibit from January 26 to February 18, 2012 in the AIB Gallery at University Hall in Porter Square, Cambridge.
The exhibit, “Ronald Walsh: A Painter Rediscovered,” features paintings by Walsh, who for a decade – from 1952 to 1962 – devoted his time and talent to creating unique paintings influenced by Picasso and the avant-garde artists of Europe and America. In the early 1960s, Walsh joined Fannell Studio advertising company on Newbury Street in Boston, where his artistic talent quickly launched him from design team member to company president and head designer in just a few years.
Best known in the Boston area for his successful career at Fannell Studio, Walsh counted among his many clients prestigious firms such as jewelers Shreve, Crump and Low. What is less known about Walsh is that he was also a gifted painter, whose works reflect the experimentation occurring at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in the 1950s when artists Arthur Polonsky and Jan Cox were among the faculty.
These leading artists, who were influenced by the avant-garde artists of Europe and America, clearly impacted Walsh’s painting style. It was Cox who brought Walsh along with a few colleagues to see an exhibit of Picasso’s work in Philadelphia in 1958 – a trip that would significantly influence Walsh’s painting style and technique. Walsh’s talent as a painter was recognized in his award of the 5th Year Prize in 1959, a prize that would provide a year of study abroad funded by the Museum School. Regrettably, the responsibilities of a young family prevented Walsh from accepting the prize.
Walsh continued to paint while working part-time at Fannell Studio; however, in 1962, his painting career concluded as he turned his full attention to his commercial art career in advertising design in order to support his growing family. His final painting, “Portrait of a Man,” one of his most stunning works, marks the end of Walsh’s painting career.
An opening reception celebrating Walsh’s exhibition will be held Saturday, January 28 from 5–7 pm in the AIB Gallery. The exhibit is co-curated by Andrew Mroczek, the gallery’s Director, and University Professor Martha McKenna.