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<p>Photograph of Charles Wells. <em>Bucks County Artists Three: A Celebration of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. </em>James A. Michener Art Museum archives. </p>

Printmaker and sculptor Charles Wells was as well-known for his sculptures and etchings. After studying as an apprentice with the master printmaker and sculptor Leonard Baskin, two fellowships allowed him to work alongside the great carvers in Italy. Wells' sculpture evolved over a 30-year period from stone heads, torsos, and figures, to large-scale wooden pieces, to a synthesis of the two, combining warm woods like cherry with the cool of white marble. His austere angel-like figures often appear to be emerging from their folded wings, unlike earlier crouching or recumbent figures. Wells' favorite medium was stone, finding it easier to carve than wood, although he took pleasure in working with local hardwoods.

Incised lines often appear on his sculpture, and this fascination with the depiction of lines carries over into his etchings. Characterized by asymmetrical faces and lighting reminiscent of Rembrandt, his etchings are most often portraits. Wells has exhibited widely in the US and abroad, and is represented in the permanent collections of MIT, the Library of Congress, the National Portrait Gallery, the Whitney Museum, and Nelson Rockefeller.

Charles Wells was also part of the exhibition The Rodin Legacy in conjunction with Rodin: The Human Experience Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections exhibit at the Michener Art Museum in 2015. The Legacy exhibit explored the influence of Rodin on 20th century and contemporary American sculptors, some of whom continue to embrace Rodin's legacy with their interest in naturalism and the partial figure, direct carving, and a desire to express inner psychological states through the physical form.

Photograph of Charles Wells. Bucks County Artists Three: A Celebration of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.

Education & Community

Education and Training
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, BA, 1957
Apprentice to Leonard Baskin, 1961-64

Mentors and influences
G. Pisano, Ghistlebertus, Desiderio, F. Laurana, L. Baskin, R. LeBrun

Connection to Bucks County
Wells was raised in Bucks County and returned from Italy in 1977 to live on Echo Farm, the family property in Washington Crossing.

Colleagues and Affiliations
Robert Rosenwald, George Anthonisen, Paul Matthews, and George Trivillini.

Solo Exhibitions

Major Solo Exhibitions
Hinckley & Brohel, New York and Washington, DC, four exhibits
FAR Gallery, New York, five exhibits
Marry Moore Gallery, La Jolla, California
Blue Chips Gallery, Lucca, Italy
Negev Museum, Beersheba, Israel
Princeton Gallery of Fine Arts, New Jersey
L. Clerici Gallery, Barga, Italy
LaContratcia, Pietrasanta, Italy
Bottego Gallery, Parma, Italy
Arnold Klein Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
Dei Giorni Gallery, Pisa, Italy
Meyjuis Gallery, Helmund, Holland
Gallery 22, Aarhaus, Denmark
Impressions Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Maeyaert Gallery, Ostend, Belgium
Gallery Appel, Waregem, Belgium
Regensburg Gallery, Regensburg, Germany
Printshop Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Holland
International Print Society, New Hope, Pennsylvania
Forum Gallery, New York, two exhibits
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California

Group Exhibitions

Selected Major Group Exhibitions
The Print Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contemporary Gallery, New York, New York
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
National Academy Gallery, New York, New York
National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, New York
American Academy, Rome, Italy
Carrara Bienniale, Italy
Lumley-Cazelet, London, England
Pietrasanta Annual, Italy
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Le Immagini Gallery, Torino, Italy
Influx Gallery, Marsaille, France
Arnold Klein Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan
Futura Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
Antares Gallery, Munich, Germany
Ursus-Presse, Dusseldorf, Germany
L'Angle Aigu, Brussels, Belgium
Gallerie Attali, Paris, France
Manzoni Galleria d'Arte, Milano, Italy
The Gallery at Lincoln Center, New York, New York
Carolyn Hill Gallery, New York, New York
Printworks, Chicago, Illinois
Williams Gallery, Princeton, New Jersey
Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, New Jersey
The Rodin Legacy, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2015


Major Collections
The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Trenton State College, Trenton, New Jersey
Gloucester State College, Gloucester, New Jersey
Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State College, Pennsylvania
Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
LaSalle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Private Collections

Nelson Rockefeller, Harvey Mudd III, Marvin Sadik, Sir Francis Crick, Cass Canfield, Dr. David Morowitz, Pjeroo Roobjee, Etienne Desmet, H.M. Pijnenburg

Marble portrait of Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass, National Portrait Gallery
Twenty-two wood carvings for St. Josephs Church, Millstone, NJ
Wood carving of Dorothy Day, La Salle University
Wood carving of Dennis O'Brien, retired president, Rochester University

Awards & Appointments

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Stone Carving Teacher, Middlebury College
Stone Carving Teacher, National Academy of Design
Drawing Instructor, Bucks County Community College

Major Awards
National Institute of Arts and Letters, Grant, 1964
American Academy in Rome Fellowship, 1964-1966
Gold Medals for Sculpture, National Academy of Design, 1987, 1988, 1994
Bucks County Lifetime Achievement Award, 1989

Affiliations and Memberships
Coro Cane (Andean Music Band)
FAAR, Fellow of the American Academy in Rome
National Academy of Design, Academician

Ricardo Barros, Facing Sculpture, Image Spring Press, 2004
Doris Brandes, Artists of the River Towns, River Arts Press, 2002

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