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Walter Karl Ginther (1894 - 1968) 


Ginther was born in Winona, Minnesota in 1894 and served in Europe during WWI at which time it is believed he may have taken some art studies. Upon his return to the U.S., he settled in Minneapolis and began studies at the Minneapolis School of Art. There he took instruction from Vaclav Vytlacil (1892-1984), Cameron Booth (1892-1980), and Richard Lahey (1893-1978).  He also traveled to France with Dewey Albinson.


As early as 1923 he began exhibiting his paintings both at the MIA and the Minnesota State Fair where he received awards in 1923, 1924 and 1926. It is known that he was an active early participant in the Minnesota WPA and produced art in various mediums including, oil, watercolor, prints and wood carving.


In an oral interview given in 1965 by artist Dewey Albinson (1898-1971) who was a Projects Supervisor for the Minnesota WPA, Albinson mentions Ginther as being talented and recollecting that he, "even won a few prizes, let's say, 1920-24 in there." He goes on however to describe an incident in which after being assigned to a project that Ginther had no interest in, he eventually quit. As described by Albinson, "after a few months on the project, right in a calm work hour, he rose up out of his chair screaming bloody murder and threw everything down and he left and went to Dakota and I never heard of him since." Apparently unknown to Albinson, Ginther stayed in the Twin Cities and eventually found work as a commercial artist producing cards at the well-known Buzza Greeting Card Company.


Ginther is listed as a printmaker and painter in Robert L. Crump's book, Minnesota Prints and Printmakers 1900-1945, Minnesota Historical Press, 2009, page 92, and in other directories as a commercial artist up until 1938.


Eventually, Ginther left the world of commercial art and in 1939 took a job as a steel worker retiring after 20 years in 1959 after which time he and his wife moved to Upham, North Dakota in 1965 where he died three years later.

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