The art of Fred Wassall was the focus of an exhibit at the Historical Museum in the Lois Kay Walls Gallery, which ended April 2019. Born in Birmingham, England in 1904, Wassall studied at the Brighton School of Art before immigrating to the United States in 1926, settling in Wichita. Though Wassall considered himself a fine artist, he supported himself as a window dresser in his new community. Stints at Sanger Brothers and Rorabaugh’s Dry Goods led to an Adversting and Display Director position at Walker’s, with designs noted for their bold, modern style and experimental elements. Wassall’s artwork ranged from modern surrealism to the exotic, sometimes combining the two. Wassall traveled widely, and corresponded often with artists he admired, developing relationships with Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali, among others.
This exhibit was generously funded through the Lois Kay Walls Foundation.