Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Life and Legend of Folk Artist Paul Seifert

By Joe Kapler

Hardcover: $29.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-891-1

128 pages, 65 b&w and color photos, 9 x 9


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In 1867, German immigrant Paul Seifert settled in the
Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin and began
capturing the distinctive farms and landscapes of his
new home in vivid, detailed watercolors. Today, these
paintings are coveted by American folk art collectors
across the country, but Seifert's life remains shrouded
in mystery.

In this first book written about Paul Seifert, author Joe
Kapler examines the life of this enigmatic artist and
provides context for his extraordinary art. The book
features high-quality reproductions of twenty-two
Seifert watercolors (more than half of which have never
been published) and many close-ups of his characteristic
details, from horses and hay wagons to dogs and
dinner bells. Part art history treatment, part coffee
table book, part research memoir, and part love letter
to the Driftless Area, Wisconsin in Watercolor shines a
long-awaited light on Seifert and the land he so carefully
rendered over a hundred years ago.

Joe Kapler is lead curator at the Wisconsin Historical Society. He has curated numerous major exhibitions, including the Society's 2014 exhibition on Seifert's art,  "Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Farmscapes of Paul Seifert." He holds a master's degree in American history from Marquette University and a  master's degree in museum studies from Eastern  Illinois University.

"In 'Wisconsin in Watercolor,' Joe Kapler lovingly explains the genuine bond between Seifert and his subjects, opening our eyes anew to how the artist creatively saw his world--a world that still resonates in the popular imagination today." 

Graeme Reid, Director of  Collections and Exhibitions, Museum of Wisconsin Art

"A beguiling and enduring portrayal of Southwest Wisconsin's bygone folklife and landscape."

James P. Leary, Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture, University of Wisconsin - Madison