Dean Meeker: Art is Process
Dean Meeker (1920-2002) was a leader among the progressive printmakers who emerged after WWII. And, while his fame as a print maker may be his finest attribute, his ingenuity and unmatched skills as an inventor of processes, methods, and machinery and his supportive influence upon the scores of students who studied with him at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are his significant legacy. He was a leader in non-toxic methods for the production of intaglio prints: he started the first academic course in serigraphy in the nation and his importance as an artist is reflected in the large number of awards and prizes bestowed upon him. He wanted to be a painter/sculptor but his middle years were obligated by family demands which print making satisfied. His last years saw him return to sculpture and painting. ISBN:978-0-9908931-1-0; Hardcover, case wrapped, 374 pages. Price: $99.00 direct from www.lulu.com
Dean Jackson Meeker
Dean Jackson Meeker was born in Orchard, Colorado on May 18, 1920. In 1939, Meeker enrolled in the School of the Art Institute ofChicago where he studied painting and sculpture under Boris Anisfeld and Albin Polasek. He also had a brief introduction to lithography and etching. World War II interrupted his studies as he was drafted into the US Army in the fall of 1942 but returned to school in 1944 to complete his senior year. Meeker also attended Northwestern University where his studies included art history, philosophy, literature and anthropology. He earned his B.F.A. in painting in 1946 and his M.F.A. in painting in 1947 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
During his early college years, Meeker worked part time for an advertising agency and a toy/novelty firm where he was exposed to the silkscreen process.
Meeker's teaching career began in 1946 with his appointment as instructor in the Department of Art at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and in 1950 he was promoted to assistant professor. In 1949 he began teaching the silkscreen process and his experiments in silkscreen led to his development of using a combination of polymer plate intaglios and screen printing. To achieve this he had to develop the “Meeker” press to print the high relief plates and his first successful serigraphy-polymer intaglio print was published in 1961. Meeker continued to teach drawing, painting and printmaking at Madison until 1992.
In 1958, Meeker was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1959 and 1960 to study printmaking in Europe. In Paris he worked at Hayter's printmaking workshop, Atelier 17, and with printmaker Kaiko Moti. He also studied prints in the museums of Spain and Italy.
Meeker's work is represented in the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Milwaukee, Beloit College Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Brooklyn Museum, Denison University, Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, Library of Congress, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Meeker exhibited his prints internationally.
Dean Jackson Meeker died in Madison, Wisconsin on October 4, 2002