Syd Fossum: My Mother’s Art Mentor

Sydney Fossum (1909 to 1978) taught at the Minneapolis School of Art where my mother, Janet Williams Bradley, went to art school, and was the Director of the Duluth Art Institute in the early 1960’s where she was an artist member. He was my mother’s mentor and consequently we had examples of his artwork throughout the house.

Fossum Peacemakers Fossum Grocery Fossum Mexico

Above from top and left are: “The Peacemakers” a silk screen print from 1948, “Corner Grocery” a silk screen print from 1961, and “Sunday on the Boulevard, Morelia, Mexico” an original watercolor from 1953. I have memories of going with my mother when I was very small and watching her do silk screen prints at the Art Institute in Duluth.

Syd Fossum led a very interesting life. He was born in South Dakota, received his BFA degree from the Minneapolis School of Art, he was a WPA artist during the Depression, and was very active in politics. After serving in the Army in World War II he had numerous teaching positions and he died in San Francisco in 1978. His work is in the collections of the University of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, and LACMA in Los Angeles.

Art has been very important in our family. It defined who my mother was and she passed her love of art on to all of us. My sister Jean Bradley is an artist in Palm Springs, California, my brother, Tim Bradley is an architect of beautiful houses on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii, and both of my children have received art awards in high school.
(Click on Pictures to Enlarge)

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