A collection of William Thomson’s paintings will be on view in the Learning Resource Center at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. Connecticut native, and former longtime Winsted resident, William Thomson has been called a realist, neo-impressionist, satirist, and a painter’s painter. His prolific body of work is diverse in material as well, and includes watercolor, acrylic, oil, encaustic, tempera, and casein. Art critics said of his earlier works that he painted in the tradition of artists Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, and the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich have Thomsen pieces in their collection, as well as the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and Williams College in Massachusetts, and Marietta College in Ohio.
Born during the depression in Bristol, Connecticut, Thomson attended the Meriden Trade School where he studied art under Ernst Lohrmann, a German émigré and master silversmith who encouraged Thomson to pursue his passion. After serving in the Korean War, Thomson returned to Connecticut and studied two years at the Paier College of Art in New Haven.
Thomson and his wife moved to Winsted in the late 1970s where he set up a studio in his home. To supplement his income, Thomson was a sign painter and advertising designer for local companies, but at age 55 he devoted himself exclusively to fine art until his death in 2014. The title of the current show borrows the opening line from his obituary: Art and Heart Defined by William Thomson.
Thomson’s continuous curiosity drove him to study both contemporary artists and great masters, as well as groundbreaking artists in photography and printmaking. He always pushed himself to try new techniques and his versatility could be seen in the many series he created. Today his legacy boasts a sizeable collection of work in a variety of materials and the current show at NCCC will reflect this variation.
Reception, to be held in the late artist’s honor: Friday, March 23, 4 – 5 pm
Learning Resource Center
Northwestern Connecticut Community College