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William Fortune Ryan (1901 - 1993) 

William Fortune Ryan was born in Milwaukee, WI and was a well-known artist in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and in national art circles. 


His talent was recognized early, and he was rewarded with a scholarship to attend the Art Students League in New York City.  Later he studied painting at the Hoffman School of Art in Munich, Germany and under Cameron Booth.


In 1934 he was one of several artists chosen to participate in the Public Works of Art Program, the forerunner of the government's WPA Federal Art Project.  In 1940 he exhibited a watercolor titled "Clarkson's Landing" at the Minneapolis Institute of arts and in 1942 his silkscreen "Clarkson's Landing" was awarded first prize in the print and drawings category at the Minnesota State Fair.   


He was a member of the art faculty at the St. Paul and Minneapolis art schools, Washington University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and the College of St. Catherine.  Ryan left teaching in the late 1950s to start William Ryan Studios in Minneapolis, working with advertising agencies.


His work was exhibited in the following venues … Minneapolis Institute of Art; Kansas City Art Institute, 1939; St. Paul School of Art, 1940; Minnesota State Fair, 1927 (prize), 1934 (prize), 1938 (prize); Minneapolis Art Association, 1927 (prize), 1938 (prize); Seattle Art Museum, 1934 (prize), 1937.  His work is also in the collections of Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Seattle Art Museum and Iowa State University.

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