Edward K. (E.K.) Williams
- Brown County
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Edward K. Williams was a prominent painter of the Brown County Group. He was a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania and was born on June 5, 1870. He was husband to Mrs. Effie Williams and was survived by two grandchildren (Rosemary Skyshka & Frank Russo) and two great-grand children. Williams studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later in St. Paul Minnesota. Before he received any recognition as a painter, he became a well known illustrator in Chicago. Sculpting was also one of his artistic talents. The artist is most notable for his watercolor paintings and in his time was recognized as one of the best watercolorists of the Brown County Group. Many of his paintings depict the color and beauty of Brown County landscapes.
After working in Chicago, Williams took a trip to Indiana and was so impressed with the hill country there that he moved to Nashville in 1927. Although he primarily worked in watercolor, Williams also did oil paintings but reserved that medium for very large landscapes. Additionally, the artist had a known affinity for winter scenes, many of which he painted in Wisconsin throughout his career. He was highly attributed by his contemporaries-like Simon Baus and friends Evelynne and George Jo Mess-for his twenty-five year devotion to art, his genial personality, and his technical skill.
His memberships included: the Chicago Galleries Association, the American Water Color Society in New York, and the Brown County Art Colony. He was formerly the President of the Indiana Artists Club, and was later the Vice-President of the Brown County Art Gallery Association at the time of his death.
Williams first became an exhibitor in 1928 at Field’s Hoosier Salon in Chicago. He would go on to continually exhibit at the annual Hoosier Salon show until 1949 (the gallery had already been moved to Indianapolis in 1941), with the exception of missing one year in 1929. His other shows included annual exhibitions at the Lyman Gallery, H. Lieber Galleries, and John Herron Art Institute. In January and February of 1933, his annual show at Herron became the fifth one-man exhibition to ever be held at the institute. His paintings were also shown abroad in the International Watercolor Exhibition. One of his many monetary awards was the notable John C. Shaffer prize at the juried 17th annual Hoosier Salon.
A large collection of his watercolors and oil paintings belong to the H. Lieber Company galleries, to whom he donated part of his body of work. The artist passed away in the winter of 1950 at the age of 79 in his Nashville home.
[IMA Research Library Artist Files; Indianapolis Star Feb. 3, 1950; Indianapolis Star Feb. 5, 1933; Indianapolis Star Oct. 26, 1947; Indianapolis Star Jan. 8, 1950]