September 22, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 3

Marilyn Wilson and daughter Andrea, with the "California Baroque" painting

Painting by Alumnus Comes Home to Cal State Northridge

Artist Robert Curtis WilsonÕs 'California Baroque' Abstract Now Displayed in Oviatt Library

"California Baroque," a painting by the late artist and writer Robert Curtis Wilson, has finally come home to Cal State Northridge.

A gift from the artist's widow, Marilyn Wilson, the artwork now hangs in the lobby of the Oviatt Library's administrative offices. Valued at $9,200, the mixed media abstract was created in 1960, while the artist was a student at the university, known then as San Fernando Valley State College.

Wilson decided to donate the painting to Cal State Northridge after coming across a 1960 interview her husband gave to the campus student newspaper. The article described "California Baroque," a 36"x 48" collage of muted yellows, golds, browns and greens interspersed with burlap.

"I was looking for some information about his time in California and came across this folded piece of paper," said Wilson, whose husband died in 1996. As she read the article, she realized the painting was hanging right in front of her. Wilson learned that her husband hoped one of his paintings would someday hang in the Cal State Northridge library.

"As far as I am concerned," she said, "that painting is where it belongs. It's home. I was only borrowing it for a few years."

"We're very glad to be able to fulfill his lifelong wish," said Susan Curzon, dean of the University Library. "The painting makes a graceful addition to the library."

Best known as a landscape painter, Robert Curtis Wilson was born in Sullivan, Ind., in 1926. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he set up a studio in Granada Hills and, while attending Valley State, taught art at Northridge Junior High School and Pierce College. Eventually, he headed east to a teaching position at State University College at Buffalo.

Many of Wilson's paintings are held in private and public collections around the country. The artist is listed in "The International Bibliographic Files" of Venice, Italy, and in "Who's Who in Arts and Antiques."

@csun | September 22, 2003 issue
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