Alonzo Hauser (1909-1988) attained national recognition for his figurative sculpture. His totaloutput of sculpture in a wide variety of mediums is estimated to be 500-600 works. Drawings and watercolors are estimated at approximately 3,500.
Alonzo Hauser was known as one of Minnesota's most important and prolific sculptors. He attained a national reputation for his figurative sculpture and had numerous shows in prestigious museums and galleries throughout the nation during his fifty year career. His work is in many collections both public and private and he won numerous awards. His fountains and public art are some of the most significant in the midwest. He carved stone and wood, modelled sculpture, and produced sculpture in many different mediums including plaster, terra cotta, bronze and lost wax bronzes. His output of two dimensional art is quite staggering with dozens of sketch books; and drawings and watercolors numbering in the thousands. He produced a limited number of silverpoints and other paintings although he always maintained he was not a painter.
Alonzo Hauser taught at the Layton School of Art In Milwaukee and Carleton College in Minnesota before founding the Macalester College Art Department in 1945. At Macalester his students included noted realist sculptor Duane Hanson among others. He left Macalester to join his friend Gypsy Rose Lee as a "barker" in her travelling carnival show in 1949. He always preferred to free-lance and thought the arts should be taught in an apprentiship manner.
His powerful intellect attracted many people of an enormous range of activities from: scientists, anthropologists, novelists and poets, dancers and musicians and politicians, lawyers, doctors and journalists. R. Buckminster Fuller, Joseph Campbell, Paul Robeson, Allan Tate, Meade Lux Lewis, Fred Manfred, Sigfried Gideon and Vine DeLoria were some of his friends as were painters Romare Bearden, George Morrison and Cameron Booth. He balanced rarified intellectual pursuits with an equal dose of proletarian inspiration being friendly with farmers, workers of all stripes and people whose company he simply enjoyed. His wife --Nancy McKnight Hauser; for thirty seven years, was his equal in all ways as an artist, intellectual and generuous human being but surpassed him by far in the art of cooking. They produced three offspring; sons Michael and Tony--flamenco and classical guitarists, and Heidi who is like her mother, a noted modern dancer, choreographer and teacher.
"MY DRAWINGS GIVE ME EDIFICATION AND EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION. WHILE MANY OF THEM HAVE NO DIRECT RELATION TO MY SCULPTURE, STILL BY THEM I HAVE PERHAPS BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE A CLEANER PIECE OF SCULPTURE; OR IN OTHER WORDS, TO THINK IN A CLEARER WAY"
"MY DRAWINGS AND MY SCULPTURE DO NOT SHOW MY DEVELOPMENT AS AN ARTIST; THEY MERELY SHOW MY ACTIVITY AS A HUMAN BEING. ONCE ONE HAS MASTERED TECHNIQUE SUFFICIENTLY TO SERVE ONE'S IDEAS, THER IS NO FURTHER DEVELOPMENT; THERE IS ONLY THE EXPRESSION OF IDEAS. PERSONALLY, I HAVE NO FURTHER USE FOR THE WORK ONCE IT IS DONE; ITS USE FOR ME HAS BEEN ACHIEVED. FOR IT IS THE IDEA WHICH I ATTEMPT TO RETAIN OR DISCARD, DEPENDING UPON HOW IT SERVES ME."
--ALONZO HAUSER, 1946
ALONZO HAUSER(1909-1988) A BIOGRAPHICAL TIME LINE
1909 Born on January 30th to Dr. George F. Hauser D.D.S.& Mrs. E. Wynona Meyers Hauser in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. 1918 His father, Dr. George F. Hauser, died of rheumatic heart disease when Lonnie was 9 years old.
1926 Graduated from LaCrosse Central High School
1926-27 Attends LaCrosse State Teacher's College 1927-29 Layton School of Art, Milwaukee, WI where he developed his interest in sculpture, met painter, Walter Quirt, and studied with Girilamo Piccoli 1929-30 University of Wisconsin, MadisonConcentrated studies in art history under Oskar von Hagen
1930 Moves to New York City, full-time apprenticeship as stonecarver in Greenwich Village Stone Shop with Amedeo Merli, joins Communist Party 1931 Private scholarship for nine months of independent study in France 1931-32 Returned to continue apprenticeship and work in stone shop, N.Y.C. 1932-33 Continues work in stone shop and wins scholarship to study with sculptor William Zorach at the Art Student's League
1934 Elected to "An American Group" (an artist's association) Participated in group exhibitions at the Barbizon Plaza, the Ehrich-Newhouse Galleries, the Montross Gallery, and in Rockefeller Center. Continues work in stone shop and study at Art Student's League
1935 Works independently, marries modern dancer Nancy McKnight, American Group Exhibitions at the Gimbel Galleries, the Jaques Seligmann Gallery,the Artist's Union and the John Reed Club. Exhibits with First Outdoor Sculpture Show. First award for “Primitive Figure” and the Minnesota State Fair. Second award for “Invictus”. 1936 First one-man solo exhibition at the A.C.A. Gallery, N.Y.C. (20 sculptures, 60 drawings) American Group exhibits at the Modernage, the Federal Arts Project, the Municipal Art Gallery, the A.C.A. Gallery and at the Whitney Museum.Called to Washington, D.C.to design and execute sculpture for the Resettlement Administration. (W.P.A.) Hired by the Resettlement Administration (W.P.A.) to work as an architectural sculptor, moves to Washington, D.C. and executes sculpture for the W.P.A.
1937 American Artist's Congress Group exhibition at the Rockefeller Center in N.Y.C. and continues to work in Washington for Resettlement Admin. Sent by W.P.A. to Greendale, WI for a large sculpture commission. 1937-39 Sent by Resettlement Admin. to Greendale, WI for large sculpture commission, finished under auspices of Farm Security Admin. 1938 American Group Exhibition at the Artist's Gallery in N.Y.C. and is commissioned to do a portrait of WI Governor Philip La Follette A son Michael Scott--born April 18. 1939 American Group exhibition at the Whitney Museum N.Y.C. and exhibition as a Wisconsin artist at the New York World's Fair, Group exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and is commissioned by the Fine Arts Section of the Treasury Dept. to do wood carvings for Park Rapids MN post office
1940-42 Taught sculpture and drawing at the Layton School of Art, Milwaukee WI
1940 WisconsinPainter's and Sculptors Annual Exhibition at the Milwaukee Institute of Art. Received a cash award (Art Institute Medal) for figure of Martha Graham. One-man show at the Layton Art Gallery, entire show sent to the Robinson Galleries, N.Y.C. Commission of 9-brick panels of animals for the Fred Doepke residence in Milwaukee WI
1941 One-man exhibitions at the J.B. Neuman's New Art Circle, N.Y.C. and the Layton Art School Gallery, Milwaukee, WI; Portrait of Gypsy Rose Lee
1942 Designer and superintendant, Continental Ceramic Co. Milwaukee 1943-44 Foreman, Industrial Ceramic Div. Globe-Union Co., Milwaukee; Continues to work independently and on private commissions. Exhibits at Milwaukee Art Institute, Awarded Art Institute Medal for “Invictus”.
1943-44 Art Director at the Continental Ceramics Co., Milwaukee. A daughter Heidi, born Dec 5, 1943.
1944-45 Taught sculpture and drawing at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota 1944-45 One-man show at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota Group exhibitions with the Annual Regional Sculpture Shows (with the Minnesota Sculpture Group) at the Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN  (cash award for wood figure, “Emergence”) and at the St. Paul Gallery of Art (later the Minnesota Museum of American Art) 1945-49 Founder, chairman of the Art Department, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, offered "art workshops" for returning WW II vets, free-lance artist, work as a stone carver
1946 One-man show at the Walker Art Center (47 sculptures,84 drawings-works in bronze, marble, limestone, wood, plaster, terra cotta, ceramics) Carved wood mahogany figure"Intolerance" is included in the Walker's permanent collection. Exhibits in 3rd Annual Regional Sculpture Show at the Walker, One-man show at the St. Paul Gallery of Art (23 sculptures and numerous drawings) Group exhibit at Minneapolis Institute of Arts (first award for Tennessee marble figure "Invictus"), Minnesota Sculpture Group exhibition at the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art as the featured artist, Three-man exhibition at the St.Paul Gallery with painters Ben Wolf and Mac Lesueur
1947 Minnesota Sculpture Group exhibition at the Walker Art Center (first award for "Primitive Figure") 1948 Travelling exhibit of Midwest Sculptors at the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art (Third award for mahogany figure “Frustration”). Wisconsin StateExhibition of Contemporary Art, traveling exhibition of Midwest Sculptors, at the Layton Gallery and Milwaukee Art Institute. Cash award for Tennessee marble figure “Invictus”. Organizes "Conference on Human Development" an anthropological conference, at Macalester College.Quits the Communist Party. 1948-49 Completes commission of two large oak carved figures of “Virgin” and “Mother Cabrini” for St. Frances Cabrini, St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, Minneapolis. 1949 Minnesota Sculpture Group First Outdoor Sculpture Show and Minnesota State Fair Exhibition. Resigns from Macalester College; Joins the carnival show of Gypsy Rose Lee as "barker" in a surrealistic extravaganza of Lee's and husband, artist Julio de Diego entitled "What are your dreams?"
1949-57 Works as free lance artist and stone carver
1951 Executes drawings for "Knife, Fork and Spoon Exhibit" at Walker Art Center which is circulated internationally. Another son, Anthony Paul born May 24. Group Exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair; Second award for “Suzana” oak figure. One-man exhibition of wood carvings at Hamline University. Commission of 16-foot Christ figure in limestone, St. Paul Evangelical and Reformed Church, Summit Avenue and Milton Streets, St. Paul. 1952 Completes limestone panels for Trinity Lutheran Church, LaCrosse WI; moves from St. Paul to 2295 Dodd Road in Mendota Heights (the farm was officially in Eagan, north end of Eagan Township) and builds studio. Independent work as free-lance artist. Local Artists Exhibition at Minneapolis Art Institute.
1952-2000 Controversy of the “Promise of Youth”, sculpture fountain.
by architect, Brooks Cavin in 1952, executed in 1953, installed in 1958
and refurbished in 2000. Located in the reflecting pool of the
Veteran’s Service Building on the capitol grounds in St.Paul MN. Ordeal of commision, execution, refusal of sculpture by commissioning body, eventual installation and semi-permanent closing of "The Promise of Youth", a bronze fountain figure of a nude young woman encased in the petals of a water lilly on the State Capitol grounds (MN) in front of the Veteran Service Bldg. St. Paul.The State of MN has appropriated in 1998 $300,000 to repair and refurbish the fountain and surrounding pool, to be finished in 1999 and reopened. Finally. 1953-1954 1st Geodesic dome in Minnesota built at 2295 Dodd Road. Portrait of R. Buckminster Fuller; Designs the wrought iron figure (executed by Carl Case) “The Gay Cavalier,” for a restaurant in Stillwater, Minnesota
1954-55 Independent work as free-lance artist.Commission and completion of 9 foot Virgin figure for Presentation of the Virgin Parish, St. Paul. Moves to 63 acre farm at 2810 Dodd Roadin Eagan, and builds studio complex: more studios and sauna. Designs aand executes murals for Anderson Window Co. in Bayport MN. Elected Justice of the Peace, Mendota. 1956-1957 Joins the faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture as a visiting instructor and lectururer in “Life Drawing”. A faculty member for more than 10 years; on faculty until 1969); Exhibits at Minnesota State Fair; Completed the ten foot limestone panel, Hope Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Receives commission for St. Stephaneus Church, St. Paul. 1958 Independent work as free-lance artist.6 limestone panels for the Victoria Primary School, St. Paul. Completes sixlimestone panels for the Victoria Primary School, St. Paul.
1959 Carves 7 foot diameter granite panel of the seal of MN for the Department of Employment Security, Minneapolis
1960 "Principally Portraits"a one-man show at the St. Paul Gallery of Art (of 44 sculptures, 38 were portrait heads with captions written by author Frederick Manfred. Manfred portrait included) 1961-1962 Group exhibition "Portraits" at the St. Paul Gallery and group exhibition "The Mendota Foundry" at the Walker Art Center. Two-man exhibition at Alley 29, with St. Paul with painter Karl Hagedorn. Group exhibition at the Walker Art Center “Biennial 1962”.
1962-1963 Exhibit with painter William Saltzman in Mankato, Minnesota. One-man exhibit at Rochester Art Center, MN\ One-man show at Central City Art Gallery, CO
1964 One-man show O'Brian's Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ 1964-65 Commissioned by the Woman's Institute of St. Paul to do 8 foot bronze fountain figure "The Source" for Rice Park. Dedicated 6/14/65.
1965 One-man exhibition at the Kilbride-Bradley Gallery in Minneapolis. (Lost wax bronzes figurines, portrait heads, acrylic paintings, and silverpoint drawings) Group exhibition at Walker Art Center ("Drawing in Minnesota") (“Two Drawings for Dante’s Inferno”) Exhibits (“Two Drawings for Dante’s Inferno”) at Tweed Gallery, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota 1966 One-man show at the Kramer Gallery, St. Paul.
1966-69 Independent work as free-lance artist sculpting lifesize limestone figures, many lost wax figures, portrait heads and drawings. Establishes bronze foundry at studio on farm, 2810 Dodd Road, Eagan, Minnesota. Teaches at University of MN until 1969.
1970-1973 Sells Eagan farm and moves to Prescott, Wisconsin, buying largest building in town (on Broad Street), renovating and convertingit to studios and loft apartments. Opens "Left Bank Gallery" in building with exhibitions of his own work and the art of Cameron Booth, George Morrison, Paul Kramer and Eskimo art. Travels to Hudson's Bay and procures Inuit art for exhibition and sale at the Left Bank Gallery. Shows work at Cotton Mather's Gallery 1972 Travels to Canadian Arctic. Artist in Residence at Center for Democratic Studies, Santa Barbara, CA -- does portrait heads of Rex Tugwell and other FDR Administration members.
1973 Exhibition of "The Design Science of R. Buckminster Fuller" sponsored by the Univ. of MN and Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis which incorporates Lonnie's portrait head of Fuller in the travelling show. Travels to California for commissions of portrait heads of Rexford Guy Tugwell (FDR Administration) and Robert Hutchins (Pres. of Univ. of Chicago) and Elizabeth Mann Borgese, daughter of author Thomas Mann.
1974 Nancy and Lonnie divorce. Lonnie moves from Prescott, Wisconsin, to Mesilla Park (near Las Cruces), New Mexico. Buys house, builds studios.
1975 Group exhibit at the Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona. One man exhibitions at the Las Cruces Community Art Center of small bronze portraits ofNative American heroes, western figures, lost wax bronzes, portrait heads and silverpoint drawings.
1975-83 Semi-retires and travels throughout U.S. in large RV (which he sells after one year) and travels to Mexico. Survives car accident in Mexico. Coninues to draw and do watercolors of Southwestern locales. Travels around the United States and Mexico. Executes watercolor paintings of the southwest and small portrait sculptures of famous Native-Americans.
1978 Last one-man show at the Osborne Gallery in St. Paul entitled "New Lonnie Hauser, Watercolorist"
1983 Declining health 1984 Moved by family from Mesilla Park to an apartment in Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis due to his declining health. 1985 Moved into nursing homes in Minneapolis 1987 Part of group show (limestone figure of "Eve") of artists during the W.P.A. years at the James J. Hill House, St. Paul, sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society; work exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Attends wedding of son,Tony to Carol Brown, in front of fountain in Rice Park, St. Paul. Dedication of a plaque in identifying Alonzo Hauser as the sculptor of “The Source” fountain figure in Rice Park, St. Paul. 1988 Group exhibitionMN State Fair and MN Museum of Art "MN Artists Look Back" Plaque installed in Rice Park announcing Lonnie as sculptor of "The Source". Dedication ceremony which Lonnie attends. His last public appearance. Dies on November 29, 1988. 1998-2000 Two shows ofworks at Second Story Gallery, Minneapolis.
One-man retrospective show “Alonzo Hauser Revisited: Five Decades of Art” at Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, St. Paul
2001 Rededication of the restored “Promise of Youth” sculpture fountain, Veteran Service Building, capitol grounds, May 19th, St. Paul, Minnesota
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