Roland Wise

June 19, 1923 – December 5, 2005

Born in San Francisco and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Roland Wise grew interested in art at an early age.  While in the U.S. Army Air Force Air Transport Command during and after World War II, he  was a radio operator in Europe and the Pacific, where he viewed many famous art collections.

He used his GI Bill benefits to attend the Art Students League in New York City, receiving a diploma in commercial and fine arts in 1948. He formed a commercial art studio with two friends in New York City, then began his academic career in 1951 at the newly established School of Art at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg—serving as an assistant professor while an earning a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in 1955. He completed a master’s degree in art education in 1959 from New York University after joining the art department faculty at Buffalo State College in 1955.  He retired in 1992.

Wise was a well-known artist in the Buffalo community. He served on the art faculty of the Jewish Center of Greater Buffalo. He had numerous one-man shows in Western New York, including exhibits in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, the Goodman Gallery and the Gallery Without Walls. He won first prize at the Western New York show at the Albright-Knox and at the annual Chautauqua Art Institute show.

Buffalo News Critic Richard Huntington remarked on the subtlety of his work in a review of a 1994 show, "Interiors," at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center:

"Though abstract, the paintings, nevertheless, seek connections with the specific moods elicited by real places in real light. The more one looks, the more the abstract planes quietly find their places as walls, windows, desks, tables, woodwork, archways – all the trappings of a room."

Roland was honored posthumously in 2006 at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.

Dec., 2004: Roland Wise supervises a photo shoot with daughter, Meg, and son-in-law, David Tenenbaum. Meg wrote about her final interviews with Roland.

Roland Wise was a painter, not a self-promoter. Insulated by his academic position from the need to sell his work, he left behind a wonderful body of work, much of it seen here for the first time. (See a chronology of Wise's work.)

Permanent Collections

Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, 20 paintings, 20 drawings

Munson-Proctor, Williams Institute, Utica, NY

Norstar Bancorp, Buffalo, NY, 6 drawings

Westwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Buffalo, NY, diptych painting

Kavinoky and Cook, Attorneys, Buffalo, NY, diptych painting

Manufacturers and Traders' Inc., Buffalo, NY

State University of New York, Purchase Award, 1967, Central Administration, Albany, NY

Manufacturers Hanover Bank, Buffalo, NY

Widicomb Furniture, Inc., New York

Erie Savings Bank, Buffalo, NY, 2 paintings

University of Manitoba, School of Architecture, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

California State College, Stanislaus, Turlock, California

Graphic Controls Corporation, Buffalo, NY

The Nichols School, Buffalo, NY

 Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Purchase Award

Fellowships, Grants, Prizes and Purchase Awards

Creative Artists Public Service, New York State Council on the Arts, award for painting, 1976

State University of New York, Faculty Research Fellowships, 1961, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1979

State University of New York Grants-in-Aid, 1971, 1972, 1973

State University of New York Faculty Exhibition

Burchfield Art Center Second Award, Painted Box Exhibition

University Artists Exhibition, Convocation of the Arts, Albany, NY, 1969 (painting selected for touring exhibition)

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Western New York Exhibition:
Second of Show for two paintings, 1967
Purchase Award, 1967 (painting selected for touring exhibition)
First in Show Award, 1960, and a special award for another painting

Cooperstown Art Association Juried Exhibition, First painting Award, 1966

Chautauqua National Exhibition,  Chautauqua Art Gallery, Chautauqua, New York:
Pastel painting Award, 1965
Second painting Award, 1960
Ball State University National Drawing Exhibition, Purchase Award, 1958

Canadian National Jury Exhibition, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Second painting award, 1955

Other Exhibitions

20th Century Finest Gallery
Buffalo, N.Y., 2008
Slide Show of Exhibit

Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1994

Gallery Without Walls, 1977

Art Gallery, University, Washington Goodman Gallery, Buffalo, 1966

Ruth White Gallery, New York City, 1959

Washington Square Campus, 1958

National Gallery of Canada, Annual Exhibition of Canadian Painting, 1953


Roland Wise Home PageE-mail us!Roland Wise biographyList of Wise Exhibitions, etc.