"Hilton M. Briggs and Elmer H. Sexauer"
acrylic on canvas, 1975
South Dakota Art Museum Collection, 1975.07.
South Dakota Art Museum Purchase.
Ribbon cutting at South Dakota Memorial Art Center, May 31, 1970
Left to right:
unidentified boy, South Dakota Board of Regents president Richard Battey, Elmer Sexauer, President Briggs, and Art Center director William Landwehr
Photo Credit: SDSU Digital Archives, 1970-0804-PA01
Elmer Sexauer recognition, 1977
Elmer Sexauer, who was honored with the Artistic Achievement Citation for his dedication and continuing contribution to the art center, is posing for a portrait with the South Dakota Memorial Art Center Board of Trustees and President Briggs at South Dakota State University, April 27, 1977.
Photo credit: SDSU Digital Archives, 1977-0336-PA01
Hilton M. Briggs and Elmer H. Sexauer
Mel Spinar is Professor Emeritus in Drawing and Painting at South Dakota State University, where he taught from 1969-2003. He studied under Milton Kudlacek at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD, before receiving his M.A. and MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. His series Dakota Male Portraits, depicts young men of the 1970s and 80s: confrontational, brash and proud. Since the 1990s, his work has focused on his Bohemian ancestry, their cultural legends and his West River roots.
This commissioned double-portrait depicts SDSU President H.M. Briggs (1913-2001) on the left and Elmer Sexauer (1888-1986), South Dakota business leader. Briggs played a central role in reigniting the museum capital campaign in the 1960s and he brought on Sexauer as fundraising chairman. Read more about the historic fund raising campaign that Sexauer led in this 1970 article, South Dakota Memorial Art Center and see images of Briggs and Sexauer from the 1970 dedication and the 1977 ceremony honoring Sexauer for his contributions to the museum in the photo slider on the page.
Hear from Mel Spinar himself in this 2013 Ipso Gallery video.
Sources: South Dakota Memorial Art Center: The First Ten Years, “Early planning of the Memorial Art Center” by H.M. Briggs, p. 7. Both Sides of the River: Mel Spinar Retrospective Exhibition, “Reflections on Both Sides of the River” by Mel Spinar.
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