Racine Art Museum
Press Release

Racine Native Robert Burkert Donates Over 20 Prints to RAM

Burkert has described his work as figurative yet also references the importance of changes in light, mood, and other intangibles.

By - Oct 2nd, 2017 03:33 pm
Robert Burkert, April, 1967. Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Artist.

Robert Burkert, April, 1967. Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Artist.

Racine, WI  October 2, 2017. With a recent donation of over 20 prints and drawings that builds on an established archive, the Racine Art Museum has become one of the largest repositories of Racine Native Robert Burkert’s artwork. Open October 8, 2017 to February 4, 2018, Collection Focus: Robert Burkert showcases the artist’s lithographs, serigraphs, and other prints in RAM’s stunning contemporary art galleries.

With compelling subjects and exacting technique, Burkert long ago established himself as a significant contemporary printmaker and draftsman. Burkert established early connections with RAM’s Wustum Museum where he took classes with Sylvester and Cherry Barr Jerry—Wustum’s first director and his wife—and created some of his first lithograph prints. He also studied with influential Racine high school art teacher, Helen Sawyer.

Willing to experiment with materials and approaches, Burkert has gained the reputation of being a risk-taker who applies his technical facility to creating drawings with graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and/or silverpoint, lithographs, serigraphs, monoprints, and oil paintings. His subjects include landscapes, seascapes, life cycles, figures—nude or clothed, lifeguards, self-portraits, and twentieth-century comedians. Burkert has described his work as figurative yet also references the importance of changes in light, mood, and other intangibles. His frequently evolving aesthetic style has led to work that is representational or abstracted, detail-oriented or moody.

Earning degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Burkert eventually became the head of the Graphics Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he taught for over 45 years. Along with his wife, Nancy Ekholm Burkert—award-winning artist and illustrator—Burkett continues to be a major figure in the field with roots in Wisconsin.

This exhibition is made possible by: Platinum Sponsor – Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor: Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation; Gold Sponsors – Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors – Andis Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, Real Racine, Runzheimer International Ltd., Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors – CNH Industrial, EC Styberg Foundation, Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Norbell Foundation, Orkney Springs Retreat, Ruud Family Foundation, United Way of Racine County; Media Sponsor – 88NINE Radio Milwaukee.

Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon – 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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