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Wisconsin Farmscapes Through Water

An exhibit at the Madison History Museum might seem straightforward at first – full of watercolor paintings of Wisconsin landscapes. But look a little deeper into the artist's life...and you'll find there's a history mystery here.

This is what we know: In the late 1800’s German Immigrant Paul Seifert arrived in Wisconsin’s Driftless area and put down roots. He graduated from a Forestry Academy and made his living as a farmer and taxidermist.

However Seifert was also a painter. His chosen medium was watercolor, his muse…the Wisconsin Driftless area. He primarily painted idealized farm scenes that consisted of houses, building, animals, and haystacks that populate the canvas.

Contributor Gianofer Fields toured the exhibit examining Seifert's work along with Joe Kapler, Curator of Cultural History for the Wisconsin Historical Society:

Gianofer Fields studies material culture at UW-Madison and is the curator of "It's a Material World" - a project funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

Original air date: 06/14/14

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.