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Lucia Wiley

American, 1906-1998


Tillamook 1906



Occupation or Type



Northwest artist

Oregon artist


Lucia Wiley is identified with the city of Tillamook on the Oregon coast where she was born in 1906. She completed a mural for the Post Office in 1943 and another, Building of "The Morning Star," for the County Courthouse in 1950 which was selected by the Architectural League of New York as one of its finalists for their 1951 gold medal exhibition. She received her art education at the University of Oregon and then attended the Minneapolis Art School in Minnesota for one year where she joined the faculty. Wiley completed murals for the Minneapolis Post Office, Library, and Armory, as well as the International Falls Post Office during her stay.

Primarily known for her murals, Lucia Wiley exhibited her work as early as 1932 when her graduation thesis at the University of Oregon in Eugene consisted of four frescoes. In that year she had her first exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. She exhibited in a two person show at a St. Paul, Minnesota gallery in 1934. In 1935 Bennington College in Vermont mounted an exhibition of her work titled Mural Painting in America in 1935. She continued to exhibit at the Walker Galleries in Minneapolis, the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D. C., and the Whitney Museum in New York City in their National Mural Painters Society Exhibition in 1940. She showed watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art the same year.

Wiley gained international fame with her loan of cartoons for murals to the 1941 Guatemala National Fair. The Tate Gallery in London was interested in purchasing her painting Buffalo Hunt, but Wiley preferred to keep it in Oregon and it is now in the collection of the Portland Art Museum. In 1942 she returned to Tillamook to paint the Post Office mural and she also participated in two shows at the Metropolitan Museum in New York titled Artists for Victory, both in 1943. Her painting Clam Bake was entered in the International Watercolor show Invitational held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943. She remained in Tillamook until 1947 when she took a faculty position at the Museum Art School in Portland where she taught drawing and painting until 1955. During this time she continued to exhibit at the Portland and Seattle Art Museums and to work on murals. George Johanson, who had recently graduated from the Museum Art School, assisted on her next mural project in Tillamook. Public records for Lucia Wiley end in 1955 when she entered the Episcopal Convent, Holy Spirit of St. Hilda's, in New York City.

Artist biography reproduced with permission from the authors, Oregon Painters: the First Hundred Years (1859-1959), Ginny Allen and Jody Klevit.



Related People

Teacher of: Mary Davis (American, 1907-1989)

Assisted by: George Johanson (American, born 1928)

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