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Theodore Milton Wassmer autobiography

 Item — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 6175

Scope and Contents note

Life history of Theodore Milton Wassmer, including autobiography, photocopies of paintings, pictures, and newspaper clippings. Dated approximately 1998 - 2006.


  • 1992


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Theodore M. Wassmer autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Theodore Milton Wassmer (1910-2006), 20th century American painter.

Theodore Milton Wassmer was born on 23 February 1910 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Hester Hall and Theodore James Wassmer. In his youth he became interested in engraving and printing. He went to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1934 and fell in love with the art. Right then he decided he could no longer ignore his passion and decided to pursue his career in art. So began a love affair that would last a lifetime.

He became an apprentice to Florence E. Ware of the Art Department at the University of Utah and was a model and background painter. He was becoming successful in his paintings by his late thirties. In 1941 he was offered a contract with Paramount Studios. However, because of the Pearl Harbor bombing he enlisted in the Air Force where he served through the rest of World War II. He was stationed at Sheppard Field, Texas, and painted “Air Force in Action” murals on walls during his off hours. He was given the highest commendation from the General in Command and hundreds came to an open house reception to see the murals.

After being discharged from the Air Force in October 1945, he went to New York City to continue to pursue his art and to marry Judy Farnsworth Lund in December 1945. She too was an artist and was the former State Art Director of FERA-WPA in Utah. After studying at various schools in New York he opened a studio in the Carnegie Hall tower. Two years later he began to study Cezanne and impressionism. He became a fan of Renoir, Degas, Matisse, Picasso, and Velázquez. In 1952 he and his wife moved to Bearsville, New York. Both worked from their home studios and had success. During this time they would also make trips to Europe to further their studies of art. In 1985 Wassmer and his wife left New York to return to Salt Lake City. They gave many paintings and art pieces to the Springville Museum of Art and four other art museums. In 1990 the Springville Museum of Art honored his 80th birthday with a show of hundreds of his pieces of his art.

Wassmer's wife died in 1996. Wassmer continued to paint and live in Salt Lake City until his death 26 November 2006.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Life history of Theodore Milton Wassmer, including autobiography, photocopies of paintings, pictures, and newspaper clippings. Approximately 475 pages.

Custodial History note

Donated by Theodore M. Wassmer in 1992.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Theodore M. Wassmer; 1992.

Appraisal note

Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th and 21st Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007) because of Wassmer's residence in the west and the contributions of his art.

Processing Information note

Processed; Melissa Cowles, student processor and John Murphy, curator; 2008.

Register of Theodore M. Wassmer autobiography
Melissa Cowles, student processor and John Murphy, curator
29 May 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States