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William H. Givler

American, 1908-2000


Omaha 1908




Portland 2000

Occupation or Type




Northwest artist

Oregon artist


William Givler was one of the most influential artists and teachers in Oregon. He devoted forty-two years to the Museum Art School, beginning in 1931 as an instructor, interrupted by service as a forester during World War II, and then as dean from 1944 until his retirement in 1973. He established the four-year degree program and secured accreditation for the school. In 1949 Givler inaugurated the first Print Annual at the Portland Art Museum.

In 1953 Givler, Carl Hall, and two Washington artists exhibited in a four-person show at the Seattle Art Museum. He had many one-person shows throughout the United States during his long career: Seattle Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, University of Virginia, and others. In 1959 Givler painted an oil, Mt. Hood, for Timberline Lodge.

Givler's work was rooted in nature, primarily dealing with landscapes or figures in environments. His canvases were comparatively small in scale and contemplative in nature. He was sensitive to the essential forms of his chosen visual subjects and composed and organized his work carefully. Many paintings were romantic in feeling, filled with the brooding blues and greens of the Oregon Coast. The freedom and vitality of his brushwork helped convey the drama he saw in the forms of the Northwest landscape. In later years he developed an interest in printmaking and achieved further success in that medium.

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



Related People

Associate of: Carl Hall (American, 1921-1996)

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