Southern Methodist University

Dan Wingren art work and papers


Creator: Wingren, Dan, 1923 - 1998.
Title: Dan Wingren art work and papers
Dates: circa 1955 - 1989
Abstract: Dan Wingren was an artist and teacher active in Texas beginning in the 1940s as a student at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. After graduate school at the University of Iowa, he came back to Texas where he accepted art-related appointments in Austin and San Antonio before returning to Dallas in the 1960s. Primarily known as a painter, Wingren was both a popular and admired professor of art at SMU where he taught several subjects including 19th and 20th century art history, contemporary art, design, drawing, and painting. The collection consists of Wingren’s figure drawings and a sketchbook from his tour to France and Italy in the mid-1950s, his class lecture notebooks, and his manuscript, Design and the Visual Image.
Accession No:
Extent: 10.22 linear feet (1 archival box, two flat archival boxes, two metal shelves)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Dan C. Wingren, Jr. was born in Dallas, Texas in 1923. His family moved to a small farm outside of Irving, Texas in the 1930s during his second year in grade school; Wingren graduated from Irving High School in 1940. During World War II, he served in the army and was stationed in the South Pacific (New Guinea, New Britain, Philippines) and Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama). After military service, Wingren received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art in 1947 from Southern Methodist University (SMU) where he served as a lecturer from 1946 to 1947. While at SMU, he studied painting with Jerry Bywaters who was well-known as an artist and director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (now the Dallas Museum of Art). He took additional classes at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School with Bywaters and Otis Dozier, both well-established Texas regionalists artists. During the summer of 1947, Wingren traveled to Alpine, Texas to continue his studies with Dozier at Sul Ross State Teachers College, whose art department sponsored the successful “Alpine Art Colony” summer sessions taught by well-known regionalist artists. Also in 1947, he executed a serigraph of a color print for the portfolio XTOL by Octavio Medellin that was published by the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Wingren received his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1949 from the University of Iowa where he studied with Mauricio Lasansky (printmaker), Hal Lotterman (painter), James Lechay (painter), and Byron Burford (painter). He stayed an extra year to work on a Ph.D under German-born art historian, William S. Heckscher (degree not completed). In 1950, Wingren joined the faculty at the University of Texas in Austin as an instructor and later (1955) promoted to an assistant professor; he taught life drawing and creative design until 1958. In the mid-1950’s, Wingren traveled to Europe and sketched images of towns and villages in France and Italy. In 1958, he was appointed director of the San Antonio Art Institute and taught painting at the McNay Art Museum (associated with the San Antonio Art Institute) until May 1961. He taught at Trinity University as a guest lecturer in the fall semester in 1961. Wingren moved back to Dallas in May 1962 to paint full time although in the fall of that year he taught a design class at SMU. In 1963 and 1964, Wingren taught drawing and composition and oil painting at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School and, in 1965, he began teaching full time in the art department at SMU; he remained at the university until he retired in 1991. In 1971, Wingren was appointed Professor of Art; from 1969 – 1971 he served as Associate Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts. During his tenure at SMU, Wingren taught classes in art history (19th and 20th Century), design, drawing and painting, and also conducted seminars on contemporary art topics.

Wingren exhibited his work extensively in Texas during the 1950s and 1960s by way of art museum exhibitions and independent organizations, including the Texas Watercolor Society and the Texas Fine Arts Association. His work was accepted into numerous Texas exhibitions in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. In 1952, his oil painting Explorer received the $1000 State Fair of Texas Purchase Prize at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Nationally, his work was accepted into shows at the Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado), Knoedler Galleries (New York, New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York), Oakland Museum of Fine Arts (Oakland, California), and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota). In 1955, Wingren was highlighted in the February issue of Art in America which featured articles on ‘New Talent in the USA.’ He was recognized in other art journals during the 1950s including Carnegie Magazine, Art News, and Arts. Wingren received the Catherwood Foundation Traveling Fellowship in 1957, which allowed him to travel through Europe and continue his art studies for a year. In 1959, Wingren, along with James Boynton and Paul Maxwell, both of Houston, Texas, exhibited their work at the Galerie du Colisée in Paris, France. The show was organized by Wingren’s long-time art dealer, Meredith Long, in Houston. In the late 1950s, Wingren’s painting Magician’s Cabinet was purchased by Bernard Dorival, director of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, France (now the National Museum of Modern Art located in the Pompidou Centre), for the museum’s collection.

Wingren continued to show his work throughout Texas during the 1960s. In addition, he gave lectures on art and art history and taught drawing, composition, and painting at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In 1966 he was honored with a one-man show, a retrospective of his work completed since 1958, at the Pollock Galleries, then located in SMU’s Owen Fine Arts Center. He continued to show his work in faculty shows throughout his career at SMU. In 1968, his work was included in the exhibition The Sphere of Art in Texas, held at the HemisFair in San Antonio, and in 1979 he was one of nine artists represented in the book The Texas Gulf Coast, published by Texas A & M University Press.

In the mid-1970s, Wingren, collaborated with art professor and colleague, Mary Vernon (Professor of Art, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at SMU), in teaching First Year Design for all art majors. They later concentrated on advanced design classes for students during a time when the art department was experiencing tremendous growth. During this period, he continued with his personal art work and made drawings that focused on photo-based imagery. Many of these drawings are part of the works on paper collection in the Pollock Gallery at SMU. Wingren was also known to be intrigued with computer technology and in the 1970s built his own computer from kits and components at a time when personal computers were first being developed. He later commented “My head is somewhere near the intersection of the fields of art, history, psychology, engineering, and religion” (Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University, June 21, 1988, 4). In 1979, his manuscript Design and the Visual Image failed to find a publisher because reviewers found the material too advanced for the introductory college student and more appropriate for professional journals.

During the 1980s, Wingren continued to give lectures at the Dallas Museum of Art and to participate in gallery and museum exhibitions. In 1988, he was part of the exhibition, SMU Salon, held at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas that included work by three generations of SMU art faculty, students, alumni, and distinguished guest professors. The work was auctioned and the proceeds benefited the Meadows School of the Arts scholarship fund. In the same year, Wingren was awarded the Meadows Distinguished Teaching Professorship (1988 – 1989) by Eugene Bonelli, Dean, Meadows School of the Arts. The award carried a $5,000 cash prize and an additional $5,000 in professional support. By this time his work had been featured in 16 one-person shows since 1952, mainly in Houston, Paris, and New York.

Seven years after he retired from SMU, Wingren died in Dallas on December 31, 1998, at 75 years of age. A year later, a large collection of his drawings was donated to the Pollock Gallery at SMU. In 2006, his work was included in the exhibition Shared Vision: Texas Artists Then & Now at the Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, Texas. The emphasis of the show was to look back and honor artists who had influenced contemporary Texas artists. Wingren’s work is located in numerous Texas museums and private collections, including the Archer M. Huntington Museum (Austin), Dallas Museum of Art, Witte Museum (San Antonio), McNay Museum (San Antonio), Texas Instruments (Dallas), First National Bank (Fort Worth), and Bank of the Southwest (Houston).


Special Collections

Archives of American Art, Dan Wingren papers, 1946-1981,

Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University (Dan Wingren archival file)

Magazine articles

Bywaters, Jerry. “The Lower Midwest.” Art in America, February, 1955, 55.

Newspaper articles

Askew, Rual. “Mr. Wingren Now Qualifies for ‘Something Special’ List.” Dallas Morning News, June 22, 1958. NewsBank. Accessed May 24, 2016.

Askew, Rual. “Three Texas Painters will `Invade’ Paris.” Dallas Morning News, September 5, 1959. NewsBank. Accessed May 22, 2016.

Askew, Rual. “DMCA TV Auction Moved to New Site.” Dallas Morning News, April 9, 1960.NewsBank . Accessed May 22, 2016.

Kutner, Janet. “ART Review: Artists Push and Pull across the Years in Arlington Exhibition.” Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2006. NewsBank. Accessed May 23, 2016.

Miller, Robert. “SMU Auction to Put Talent on Display – Proceeds from Crescent Art Showing to Benefit Scholarship Fund.” Dallas Morning News, March 29, 1988. NewsBank. Accessed May 24, 2016.

Neville, John. “Dan Wingren Survey Slated for Pollock.” Dallas Morning News, March 3, 1966. NewsBank. Accessed May 24, 2016.

Smith, Todd (compiler). “Summer Meadows Maneuvers.” Daily Campus (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas), June 21, 1988, 4.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dan Wingren art work and papers collection consists of art work by Wingren and notebooks containing Wingren’s notes and class lectures, his manuscript entitled Design & The Visual Image, magazine and newspaper articles, and two notebooks of poems by Ben A. Holland.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into two series:
Series 1: Art work: circa 1955, undated
Series 2: Papers: 1960 - 1989, undated


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use. Appointment with curatorial staff at Hamon Library is required.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the staff of Jerry Bywaters Special Collections.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bywaters Special Collections/Hamon Arts Library assumes no responsibility.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Wingren, Dan, 1923-1998.
Subjects (Organizations)
Southern Methodist University -- Faculty.
Artists -- Texas -- Dallas.
Document Types
Figure drawings.
Works of art.
Manuscripts for publication.

Related Materials

Archives of American Art, Dan Wingren papers, 1946-1981,

SMU Digital Collections:

Octavio Medellin digital collection, Bywaters Special Collections:

Southern Methodist University, Pollock Galleries, permanent collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dan Wingren art work and papers, Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gifts, Hal Francis Corry, 1999; Dianne Schlies, 2014; Mary Vernon, 2016.

Processing Information

Dan Wingren art work and papers were donated in three parts beginning in 1999. The art work is placed in flat archival boxes; conservation has been completed on all items. The notebooks were inventoried and placed on metal shelves; loose files are housed in archival file folders according to subject heading; the file folders are placed in an archival box.

Finding aid written by

Ellen Buie Niewyk, 2016.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2017.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Art work, circa 1955 – 1956

Since artwork was untitled and undated by the artist, a description of the work was provided by the archivist. Dimensions are paper height (H) by width (w) in inches.
Flat Box 1 Drawing of a man sitting on a chair, charcoal on paper, undated, 17” x 24” (DW.99.1)
Drawing of a cat, charcoal on paper, undated, 19” x 25” (DW.99.2)
Drawing of a woman on a chair, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.3)
Sketches of a child at play, includes study of head, eyes, and feet, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 17 ½” (DW.99.4)
Drawing of a table with a wine bottle on top and a chair, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.5)
Drawing of a man sitting on a chair, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.6)
Sketches of a child at play, includes study of head and hands, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 18 ¾” (DW. 99.7)
Drawing of a male nude figure or sculpture, charcoal on paper, undated, 23” x 19 1/8” (DW.99.8)
Drawing of child, study of figure, heads, lips, eyes, and hand, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 17” (DW.99.9)
Portrait drawing of a woman, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.10)
Drawing of a seated woman, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 17”(DW.99.11)
Drawing of a woman in a swimsuit sitting on the beach; quick line study of a figure on back of paper, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.12)
Drawing of a man in a swimsuit, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.13)
Flat Box 2 Drawing of a seated man, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.14)
Drawing of a seated man leaning on a stool, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 17 ½” (DW.99.15)
Two drawings of a young boy, head views only, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 18” (DW.99.16)
Drawing of a man standing and holding a staff, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.17)
Drawing of a lion in profile, possibly a sculpture of a lion, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.18)
Study sketch of a man and boys, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 18” (DW.99.19)
Drawing of a man wearing a suit and tie and standing next to a chair, charcoal on paper, undated, 24” x 17” (DW.99.20)
Drawing of a man’s head in profile, charcoal on paper, undated, 25” x 19” (DW.99.21)
Portrait drawing of a man, charcoal on paper, undated, 15” x 19” (DW.99.22)
Drawing of book shelves, ink on paper, undated, 12” x 20” (DW.99.23)
Drawing of book shelves, ink on paper, undated, 12” x 20” (DW.99.24)
Drawing of book shelves, ink on paper, undated, 19” x 24” (DW.99.25)
Drawing of book shelves, storage, and work counter; construction notes in lower left corner, ink on paper, undated, 19” x 24” (DW.99.26)
Drawing of a slice of bread with a bite taken out of it, black ink on paper, undated, 11” x 8 ½” (DW.99.27)
Flat Box 3 Sketchbook, “Dan Wingren, American Express, Cannes, France, circa 1955 – 1956, 16 ½” x 10 ½” (DW.99.28.1-37). Thirty-seven pages with pencil and watercolor sketches Wingren made in France, including images of towns and villages of Cannes and Grasse, and in Italy, including images of Portofino. Other images are of architectural drawings of a house and furniture designs.

Series 2: Papers: 1960 - 1989, undated

This series contains sixty notebooks and eleven file folders organized by Dan Wingren containing lecture notes on classes he taught on various topics including nineteenth & twentieth century art, contemporary art, his manuscript for Design & The Visual Image, misc. notes, and magazine and newspaper articles; two notebooks of poems by Ben A. Holland are included in the collection.
Metal Shelving – “Wingren” Sixty notebooks arranged by Dan Wingren
01 National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Site Visit – Department of Art, Southern Methodist University, Review for Initial Accreditation for BFA and MFA in Visual Art, November, 8, 9, 10, 1988
02 Theories of Design Sem(inar), ARHS 5376 – 001 (First one: Fall 1973), (Also: Fall, 1975)
03 Later 20th, Spring 1979
04 SMU Design Workshop, Spring 1969, The Color Show
05 ARHS – 2342, Introduction to Modern Art, Fall 1979
06 Computer Log, Volume 1, Mar. 3, 1975 through Jun. 10, 1977 (Calculator & computer matters, ends when IMSAI is one year old), Dan Wingren
07 Computer Log, Volume 2, June 11, 1977 through June 9, 1978, Mother sells Granada house, moves to retirement home, Diablo printer, Electric Pencil, Dan Wingren
08 Computer Log, Volume 3, 6/11/78 through 12/11/78, Mlicropolis [sic] CP/M, Electric Pencil update, Dan Wingren
09 Personal Log, Volume 4, 1/1/79 through 12/31/79, Ben Holland, Sabbatical, strartling [sic] D & VI book
10 Dan and Mary show, 1971
11 Grad Seminar, Fall ’83 (includes student names)
12 1970 – 71, Materials & Concepts
13 History of Photography Seminar, Fall 1975
14 History of Photography Sem(inar), Spring 1979
15 Design & The Visual Image Seminar, Fall 1976 (includes student names)
16 ARHS 5380, Design & The Visual Image, Fall 1979
17 Notes Collected in Preparation for Seminar “Art and the Vernacular,” 1977
18 Grad Seminar, 1988 – 89, Dan Wingren
19 Seminar on Marcel Duchamp, Fall 1973 (incudes student names)
20 Design & The Visual Image, An Approach to Design in the Fine Arts, Dan Wingren, circa 1986
21 Dan Wingren, 2714 ½ Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75206 (SMU ARHS-5380-001: Design and the Visual Image, 1/18/78, Wed.)
22 Design 1, Design 1300-004: Introduction to Studio-Design, Southern Methodist University, Fall 1982
23 Design & The Visual Image, SMU, Fall ’85, D. Wingren
24 Design & The Visual Image, SMU DSGN 5300, DW, Fall 1984
25 Miscellaneous SMU Studio Classes, Photo Copied Handouts, 1975 – 1981, Dan Wingren
26 Art and the Vernacular Seminar, Fall 1977
27 Notes Toward First M & C Course, 1970
28 Grad Seminar 1987 – 88 (includes student names)
29 82/83 Grad Seminar, D. Wingren
30 Black bound book, untitled (collection of poems by Ben A. Holland)
31 Ben’s Poems, black bound book (collection of poems by Ben A. Holland)
32 Design & The Visual Image, An Approach to Design in the Fine Arts, Dan Wingren (work copy), © 1986 Dan Wingren
33 Black bound book, Design and The Visual Image: An Introductory Text by Dan Wingren
34 Decline of the West (contain office memos and other various documents, includes names of students); circa 1971
35 ARHS 3547 (Two Versions), Realism to Symbolism, Spring 1976, Spring 1978
36 Large black notebook, untitled (appears to include information on the history of painting, articles are duplicates/copied; Painting in the 19th Century)
37 The Color Course by Larry Gluck (Copyright 1982 by Larry Gluck)
38 19th Century – Second Half, includes class outlines (includes student names)
39 Green notebook, untitled (appears to be notes for an art history class – ARHS 5379, The Contemporary Art Scene)
40 The Basic Line Drawing Workbook by Larry Gluck (Copyright 1982 by Larry Gluck)
41 Intermediate Painting by Larry Gluck (Copyright 1980 by Larry Gluck)
42 Mission: Renaissance, Beginning Oil Painting (Copyright 1978 Larry Gluck)
43 The Basic Tone Drawing Workbook by Larry Gluck (Copyright 1982 by Larry Gluck)
44 Design & The Visual Image, Dan Wingren, SMU, Dallas (copyright 1985)
45 Literature of Utopia Seminar – 1972 (includes student names)
46 ARHS 3345, Spring 1975, Later 20th Century PTG., Sculp.
47 Dan & Mary Show (2nd Year), Spring 1973
48 The Contemporary Art Scene, Seminar, Spring 1976
49 Fall 1980: Intro to Modern, ARHS 2342-001, Dan Wingren
50 Spring 1981, SMU ARHS – 2343: Later 20th, Xeroxed Handouts – Roll (also methodology notes), © Dan Wingren
51 Wingren, Misc., Memos, 69 – 80
52 Design I, Teacher’s Copy
53 ARHS 3341 – Nineteenth Cent. – Spring 1974
54 How Bonnard Painted, Dallas Museum Fall Lecture Series, Oct. 4, 1984, Dan Wingren
55 1960-61 Meditations on Design, Beauty, Vision, Teaching Notes
56 Buckminster Fuller
57 Design & The Visual Image, Spring 1978
58 Artifacts of the Present Seminar – 1971
59 Design & The Visual Image – An Approach to Understanding Design in the Fine Arts, by Dan Wingren, © 1987
60 Later 20th Century Painting and Sculpture, Dan Wingren, Spring, 1977.
01 “Mary Vernon,” contains 11 folders on various subjects:
01 “Design 2,” Spring 1983, Design 1301-001: Introduction to Studio – Design, Southern Methodist University (copyrighted by Dan Wingren)
02 “Physical Properties of Paints”
03 “Color & The Visual Image” – © 1986 SMU, Dan Wingren
04 “Color Problems, Spring ‘86”
05 “Color & The Visual Image, Part 1: Color and Colorants” – © 1988 Dan Wingren, SMU – DSGN 5301 (Spring 1988)
06 “Color & The Visual Image, Part 1: Color and Colorants” – © 1988 Dan Wingren
07 “DV1(or I), Ch. 6, Composition, It’s many aims, It’s many varieties”
08 Handwritten notes
09 Magazines and magazine articles
10 Misc. (newspaper & magazine clippings, misc.)
11 “Wingren”