Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann was born in Cincinnati on February 23, 1931. He attended college in Ohio, starting out at Hiram College and then later transferring to the University of Cincinnati where he majored in Psychology. In the early 1950s, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he spent his years of service stationed in the United States. This time proved to be pivotal in Wesselmann’s life, as this was where he first began to draw his cartoons and developed his interest in pursuing a career in art and cartooning. After his military discharge, he continued his studies in Psychology and then later studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. His art took a pivotal turn in 1958, during a painting trip to Cooper Union’s Green Camp. It was here on this trip that he began to realize that he could pursue painting as a career, rather than just selling his cartoons.

Tom Wesselmann’s career began to take off in the late 1950s. After graduation from art school, Tom Wesselmann became one of the four founding members of the Judson Gallery, and he also began teaching at a public school in Brooklyn and also the High School of Art and Design. Wesselmann first began to gain acclaim from the art world in the early 1960s, when his Great American Nude series first came out. The idea for this piece came to him in a dream, and he painted this series in a color palate that was exclusively related to an American or patriotic motif.

In the 1960s, a unique movement which became known as Pop Art began to move through the United States, and many of the artists who became known through this movement were featured in galleries with Wesselmann, including Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, George Segal, and Andy Warhol.

Tom Wesselmann’s first solo art exhibition took place in 1961, and his popularity continued to grow from there. In 1963, he married his most inspirational model and girlfriend, Claire Selley. It was around this time that his Still Life series and Bathtub Collages began to take shape. From here, he continued to hone his craft, and then began work on additional series, including Bedroom Paintings, Seascapes, and Smokers. He continued his work on these series until the 1980s.

In 1980, he published a treatise on his artistic development, using a pseudonym of Slim Stealingworth. in 1983, he produced the first of Metal Works, which were based on his drawings and sketches. A comprehensive retrospective of his career took place in 1994, and then the remainder of his life and career were relatively quiet until his death in New York in December 2004.

Tom Wesselmann Artwork

Tom Wesselmann has many pieces and works that are well known by art lovers all around the world. Some of his more famous pieces include the following:

  • Judy on Blue Blanket
  • Monica Nude With Tulips
  • Jenny’s Backyard, East Hampton
  • Steel Drawing Edition: Monica Sitting Cross Legged
  • Monica Sitting Against A Wall
  • Bedroom Face With Orange Wallpaper
  • Claire Sitting With Robe Half Off
  • Nude
  • Lulu

About Hamilton-Selway

Hamilton-Selway was founded nearly 15 years ago, and has been thriving ever since. We are one of the largest purveyors of modern and fine art on the entire west coast. We have a philosophy that is simple — to provide the finest artwork to our clients at the best possible prices. We are able to do this because we have a vast and expansive collection of art, which in turn, gives us more control over the art and how we can price it to our clients.

Our clients range from inexperienced art collectors who collect pieces as a hobby, to the most seasoned and experienced collectors all over the world. Our experienced and well rounded team has the knowledge and experience to help each of our clients, and their goal is to make the experience as fun and informative as it can possibly be.

For more information on a particular artist, or to find out what your piece is worth, please feel free to reach out to us to speak with a member of our team directly. We have edition prints and steel cuts to offer, as well. Regardless of what you are looking for, we can help you find it.

Spend some time browsing through our website, to learn more about some of the best known modern and pop artists, and to find out more about Hamilton-Selway and our team. When you are ready to get started with buying or selling your art, give us a call or connect online today!