top of page



Click on an image for enlargement and more information


Urban Couch (1927 - 2007)

Urban Couch was an American painter.  He was born April 27, 1927, in Minneapolis, Minnesota and he died April 21, 2007, in Morgantown, West Virginia. His heritage was English on his father’s side and German on his mother’s side.  


Couch was a graduate of the Minneapolis School of Art and Design (now MCAD) and held numerous teaching positions, including being an art professor and department chair at West Virginia University.


In terms of influence, he experimented to a great degree with Japanese sensibilities while in Kyoto, Japan in 1964 and 1965 and with the principles that emerged from Germany’s pre-WWII Bauhaus movement. 


His childhood goal was to be a cartoonist and line art informed much of his work.  Couch was assigned to paint murals at Treasure Island while in the Navy (September 1944 to June 1946). He was known to always have a pad of paper in his pocket to sketch imaginary characters.


Couch was extraordinarily gifted as an artist, but had to teach himself how to read and write, as it did not come to him naturally as did his art.

Studied: Minneapolis Sch Art, BFA, 1951; Skowhegan Sch Painting & Sculpture, 1951; Cranbrook Acad Art, MFA, 1959; Kyoto, Japan, 1964-1965.

Exhibited: Neville Mus Invitational, Green Bay, Wis, 1967; Art in the Embassies, US State Dept, Sophia, Bulgaria & Canberra, Australia, 1968, extended prog, 1969-1971; Minneapolis Inst Arts Faculty Exhib, 1968; Difference of a Decade, Lee Nordness Galleries, New York, NY, 1969; Suzanne Kohn Gallery, Minneapolis, Minn, 1969; plus many other group & solo shows.

Work: Minneapolis Inst Arts; Walker Art Ctr, Minneapolis; Sioux City Art Ctr, Iowa; Cranbrook Mus, Bloomfield Hills, Mich; Gray Found Collection; plus others.

Comments: Positions: Graphic designer, USN, Calif, 1945; alumni dir, Minneapolis Col Art & Design, 1957; design consult, Control Data Corp, 1960-1962; consult-examiner prog, Comn on Cols & Univs, Chicago, 1962-1963; consult & examiner, N Cent Asn, 1963-. Teaching: Instr art, Minneapolis Col Art & Design, 1955-1970, chmn found prog, 1959-1962, actg dir, 1962-1963, asst to dir, 1963-1964, actg chmn fine arts div, 1965-1966, chmn painting dept, 1968-1971; instr advan painting, Walker Art Ctr, 1957-1961; instr art, Kingswood Sch, Bloomfield Hills, Mich & Bloomfield Hills Art Ctr, 1958-1959; grad workshop, Univ Minn, 1959-1961; instr advan painting, Minnetonka Art Ctr, Minneapolis, 1959-1961; artist-in-residence, Minnesota Jr Cols, summers, 1967-1969; instr grad painting, Calif Col Arts & Crafts, summer 1970; chmn div art, W Va Univ, 1971-?.

bottom of page