Karl Wolfe
     Karl Wolfe was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi in the year 1904.  He was the oldest son of Wiley Wilson Wolfe and Elizabeth Heuck.   He was still a boy when his family moved to Columbia, Mississippi.  Karl graduated from the Columbia High School and went to Soule Business College in New Orleans where he studied bookkeeping.  
     He later was accepted to the Chicago Art Institute, graduating in 1928.  In his last year of study he won the William R French Travelling Scholarship, and spent the next year traveling and studying in Europe.
     Karl met his future wife, Mildred Nungester, at the Dixie Art Colony, near Montgomery, Alabama in the 1930’s.  Karl and Mildred were friends and colleagues for many years before they married in 1944.
     Karl was drafted into the Army Air Core in 1942 and spent the War years at Lowry Field in Colorado, assigned to work as a photographer.
Karl as a young man.
     After the war Karl and Mildred returned to Jackson, Mississippi,  where Karl had begun to establish a clientele before the war.  They homesteaded on land Karl had bought before the war, built and shared a studio there and raised a family.  Karl became an accomplished and widely respected portrait painter.

     He also taught for ten years, replacing William Hollingsworth at Millsaps College after Hollingsworth’s death.  He was very active in helping to establish the Municipal Gallery and the Mississippi Art Association, which later became the Mississippi Museum of Art.

     Karl’s painting style in the early part of his career reflected the best of his times: solid ‘tonal’ painting grounded on skilled draftsmanship based on direct observation and careful control of color and value. 

     His later work reflected his growing interest in color.   His main media was oil painting and he always had a strong interest in portrait painting.  His studies in Europe convinced him of the significance and dignity of portraiture as field worthy his life’s energy as an artist.  His work has a naturalistic feel- and is characterized by an empathetic and warm understanding of his subjects.  By his own estimation, Karl painted over 800 portraits which are now in public and private collections.
     Other media he occasionally used include: watercolor, ceramic sculpture and mosaic.  
     Karl died in 1984 at the age of 80.

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