Wayne Thiebaud: Works on Paper

“Common objects become strangely uncommon when removed from their context and ordinary ways of being seen.”

—Wayne Thiebaud

This exceptional selection of prints and drawings from California Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud is the first of its kind at Napa Valley Museum.

Arranged by Wayne Thiebaud and Paul Thiebaud, this collection is comprised of Wayne’s work from 1948 when he began his undergraduate studies at California State University, Sacramento, through his graduate studies and continues on into his professional work up to 2004. Phil Hitchcock, Director of the University Library Gallery notes, “This collection reflects the passion Wayne has for teaching. This assemblage of work includes examples that follow numerous stages of development to reach a final numbered and signed work.”

The exhibition includes works on loan from the collection of the University Library Gallery at California State University, Sacramento. Thiebaud’s utilization of such a wide range of printing techniques is evident in this collection. Monotype, lithograph, silk screen, woodcut, linocut, and aquatint are all represented.

Moving chronologically through the gallery,
the exhibition begins with Thiebaud experimenting with an expressionistic style, using line to suggest rather than to define composition. As his personal aesthetic developed, line gave way to the use of color fields to define space and form. Also included are a multitude of process works. These sets allow a glimpse into the methods of printmaking, layer by layer.

The Museum would like to extend its thanks to Phil Hitchcock for his collaborative efforts in making this exhibition possible.

About the Artist

Wayne Thiebaud was born in 1920 in Arizona, California. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from California State University, Sacramento. His began his teaching career at Sacramento City College and maintained a thirty-year tenure at the University of California, Davis. Thiebaud played a seminal role in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. His first solo exhibition was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1960, and he gained a national following in 1962 with his inclusion in the International Exhibition of the New Realists at The Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. In that same year his work stood alongside Lichtenstein, Warhol, Ruscha and

other pop artists in the exhibition New Painting of Common Objects
at the Pasadena Art Museum. His pies, cakes, ice cream cones and other sweets quickly won the hearts of the public because of their nostalgic imagery, iconic compositions, vibrant color and thick, textured application of paint. While he made his reputation as a Pop artist, Thiebaud never limited himself to a particular style or subject matter. He considers himself a realist who has spent his artistic career exploring a host of traditional subjects, ranging from people to everyday objects to California landscapes and cityscapes.

Thiebaud has been creating prints at Crown Point Press since 1964. His work is collected by some of the finest museums in the country including the Crocker Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1994 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton and was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2010.


June 28 | 4-5pm Free Members-only preview | 5-7pm $10 General Public

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY: Painting Like Thiebaud
July 12 | 2-4pm Free
Celebrate the opening of WayneThiebaud: Works on Paper by creating your own Thiebaud inspired ice cream cone watercolor painting. Artist Deborah Donahower will be showing families how to discover their inner artist with brushes and watercolor paper!

July 19 | 10am-12pm $25 for Members | $35 for Non-Members
Paint your own Thiebaud-inspired dessert plate with ceramicist Amy Elliott. Join Amy as she discusses elements of design and color while you create your own cake plate masterpiece. No experience is necessary and after five days – your glazed plate will be ready for pick up at the museum!

August 2 | 10am-12:30pm $30 for Members | $40 for Non-Members
Join renowned artist Nancy Willis as she instructs attendees in the art of relief and monotype printing. Using both Plexiglas and Styrofoam, printmakers will bring home 3-6 masterful prints. Class size is very limited!

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY: Extreme Cupcake Decorating
August 9 | 2-4pm Free
If you love cupcakes, come show it! Have a deliciously good time decorating cupcakes using unusual frosting, colors and flavors! Ready, get set – decorate!

DREAMING OF THIEBAUD: Tour by Gallery Director Phil Hitchcock August 16 | 4pm Members Only. Reservations Required!
Phil Hitchcock, Director of the Library Gallery at California State University, Sacramento will lead a tour of the exhibition, providing unique insight into the collection, media, styles, and subjects of the iconic painter and printmaker. The tour will include a wine and cheese reception.

FILM SHOWING: Kings of Pastry
August 21 | 7-9pm Free for Members | $10 for Non-Members
Sixteen contenders seek the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (“MOF”), France’s highest honor in the sublime art of patisserie, employing vast amounts of sugar, butter and eggs to create gorgeous, fantastical and delicious creations.