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UW Art Museum Acquires Major Collection of Works by American Artist Harold Garde

September 29, 2016
abstract painting of kimono
Harold Garde’s “Kimono with Red” is among the UW Art Museum’s acquisition of five major paintings and 20 strappo prints. (Gift of the Garde Family)

The University of Wyoming Art Museum has acquired five major paintings and 20 strappo prints by nationally renowned artist Harold Garde.

Garde is an abstract expressionist painter whose work explores “what paint can do” through an investigation of mark making expressed through an intellectual approach to constructing a painting. He has worked in series throughout his artistic career, returning often to favorite subjects of kimonos, chairs, landscapes and faces. The darker spectrum of his work embodies a psychological examination of the power of the human face or figure, both individually and in relation to each other.

Garde attended UW on the GI Bill and received his BFA in 1949. He studied with notable artists Leon Kelly, surrealist; George McNeil, abstract expressionist; and Ilya Bolotowsky, geometric abstractionist; each was faculty in the UW Department of Art at the time. Now in his 90s, Garde continues to paint actively and spends his time between his studios in Maine and Florida. 

The UW Art Museum’s acquisition of Garde’s work is a partial gift/partial purchase with the Garde family.

“The Garde family’s goal is to share these prominent works with the UW Art Museum for educational purposes with the hope that they inspire others in their creating, patronage and collecting of art,” says Nancy Loving, director of the ArtSuite Gallery in New York.

Garde was featured at the UW Art Museum in 2010 with the retrospective exhibition, “Harold Garde. Painting. 50 years.” A subsequent selection of strappo prints has traveled across Wyoming as part of the museum’s Regional Touring Exhibition Program. These 20 works are part of the Garde family’s gift to the museum.

“We are so pleased to see a strong selection of Harold’s work come to the University of Wyoming Art Museum,” says Susan Moldenhauer, director and chief curator at the UW Art Museum. “The work strengthens our collection of American art, particularly in the abstract expressionist genre, and is important to our advancing work in academic engagement with UW faculty and students.”

For more information, call the Art Museum at (307) 766-6622, visit the website at, or follow the museum on Facebook.

Through its “Museum as Classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday hours are extended to 7 p.m. February through April and September through November. Admission is free.

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