Skip to main content

1989: 50 Works for 50 Years

Tim Steele

"Smoke Head"

Tim Steele is professor emeritus of graphic design and former director of The School of Design at South Dakota State University. Steele’s artist statement from the period of "Smoke Head," said “The idea of paint first became real for me as an apprentice house painter. I watched over and over as new skins of paint were applied to both new and existing construction. The new coats of paint at once hid all evidence of the past, while at the same time creating a new image. As an artist, I explore paint and construction as a means to creating personal images.”

Former South Dakota Art Museum director, Joe Stuart was a great admirer of Steele’s artwork. In 1988 he wrote, “There is a breezy sort of madness in [Steele’s] work, as if Van Gogh were alive, not too well, and living in Venice, California. Madness or not, my wife and I have his work in our personal collection, and I am sure he will be represented in this museum’s collection in the near future.”

Indeed, the museum acquired "Smoke Head" the following year with funds donated by the South Dakota Art Museum Guild. To this day, the Guild continues to allocate a portion of member dues for artwork acquisition by the museum.

Learn more about Tim Steele.

Explore "50 Works for 50 Years"

South Dakota Art Museum makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright in the works of art in its collection. It is the user’s responsibility to obtain necessary permissions and pay required fees for the use of copyrighted material. Users are held fully responsible for any infringement of copyright.