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Wesley Chamberlin

(1932 — 1990)

Wesley Chamberlin

First Meditation on the Passion | 1963

Acrylic on Canvas | 25" x 25"

Wesley Chamberlin, (born Wesley William Chamberlin, November 6, 1932) was a painter, printmaker, art historian, and teacher, born to Paul and Gertrude Taylor Chamberlin in Huntington Park, California.


In 1951, Chamberlin attended Pasadena Junior College where he was a member of Kappa Eta Mu, the KEM club, which encouraged and recognized students with special ability and interest in chemistry. Chamberlin’s schooling was interrupted by his military service in the U.S. Army between January 1953 and December 1955. 


After his discharge, Chamberlin enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon where he received his B.A. degree in 1958. Chamberlin’s studies continued at the University of California Los Angeles where he earned his M.A. degree in 1961.

Chamberlin was influential as an art historian and teacher at San Francisco State University from the 1960s to the 1980s.

A solo exhibition of his work was mounted in 1977 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 


Upon retiring from teaching, Chamberlin moved to Nevada City. He willed his printing press and the contents of his studio to Sierra College Nevada County campus.


Wesley William Chamberlin is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; the Stanley Museum of Art, University of lowa, lowa City; the Hammer Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; the Cantor Art Center, Stanford University, California; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.


Chamberlin died in Sacramento on July 19, 1990. The exhibition Lyric Visions: The Work of Wesley Chamberlin was on view from 26 November through 14 December 1990 at the San Francisco State University Art Department. 

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