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Forbes Whiteside (1919-2015)


A twentieth-century American artist, educator, and curator, Forbes Whiteside studied at the University of Minnesota (B.A. in Art History, 1941: Master of Fine Arts, 1951) and at the Minneapolis School of Art (1948).


He launched his long and distinguished teaching career, first in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis School of Art, and later at Oberlin College, from which he retired after more than 30 years. While there, he served as chair of the college art department and the College Art Association's Committee on pre-college art education, and on the board of directors of the American Council of the Arts in Education.

An expert on color perception and appreciation, Whiteside developed a systematic program for teaching color awareness, and he collaborated with fellow colleagues in developing the novel use in art of emerging technologies such as the Synchroma machine, long before the advent of laser-light displays. His work with the Synchroma was shown in an "Experiments in Art and Technology" show in the Brooklyn Museum in 1968.

His paintings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Art Museum, and the Allen Art Museum in Oberlin, as well as in private collections. In the mid-1970s, the state of Ohio commissioned a mural from him and purchased two of his paintings for its new State Office Tower in Columbus.

During his career, Forbes J. Whiteside was a guest lecturer at the Chicago Art Institute, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, and at the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

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