Interesting Tidbits Concerning
Gilbert Wilson

(Please note that the majority of the information on this page has been taken from Beth Schultz's book Unpainted to the Last. The rest was obtained through Graeme Reid, currator of the Sheldon Swope Art Gallery in Terre Haute, IN)

*You probably either have never heard of Gilbert Wilson or only recently have, which is a shame.

*Wilson lived and worked in Terre Haute, Indiana.

*Wilson began his work on Moby Dick in the mid forties and continued until his death in 1991.

*Wilson was the only artist to attempt to clase the gap between lay-man and the scholarly "elite" concerning one of America's most treasured novels.

*Wilson's work on Moby Dick includes a short art film version of the novel, the Insanity Series featuring Ahab, stage designs and a libretto for a musical version of Moby Dick entitled The White Whale, and more than 300 drawings and sketches inspired by the novel. which he took on the road in a 26 week 52 city lecture tour in the 1950s.

*Wilson's film version of Moby Dick won the Venice Film Festival's Silver Reel awrd in 1955.

*Wilson was briefly apprenticed to Rockwell Kent in 1947

*Many consider Wilson's crowning acheivement to be a series of murals done in chalk at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School in Terre Haute. In Wilson's words, "The theme of the murals is an expression of the dangers and the confusion and the complexity of the present day society which faces youth." Wilson depicts a variety of ideas, including war, technology, life, death, agriculture, and brotherhood in the murals and the result is simply spectacular. They were comissioned by city officials, but they withheld payment because they thought that Wilson quoted Union champion Eugene V. Debs in the murals. The only payment Wilson recieved was what teachers and studentscollected for him, which didn't amount to very much.