Remembering Truman Lowe

Celebrated Wisconsin artist and beloved University of Wisconsin–Madison professor Truman Lowe passed away on March, 30, 2019, leaving behind a powerful legacy.

Raised in a Ho-Chunk community near Black River Falls, Lowe always felt a connection to nature; he was especially captivated by water and its natural qualities. Lowe’s relationship with art began at a young age, learning traditional crafts from his family, but he later broadened his creative scope to include sculpture, glassblowing, and ceramics. Though his work and skills developed throughout his career, Lowe continually drew inspiration from the natural world around him.

The artist became known for his beautifully understated sculptural pieces, often made with wood he gathered himself. The Museum acquired one such piece by the artist in the late 1990s, and in his remembrance, the work is now on display in the Contemporary Art Galleries. Lowe’s large-scale Inni-che-ru-he (Stone Wall) installation (1995), made of chalk on paper and willow branches, is part of his larger Canyon Series.

Truman Lowe, Inni-che-ru-he (Stone Wall), from The Canyon Series, 1995. Installation of chalk on paper and willow branches. Purchase, Doerfler Fund M1997.25.

Though Lowe continues to be greatly missed, his kind spirit, love of nature, and pride for his personal heritage live on through his work, which will surely inspire for years to come.

Lowe’s work has been exhibited in the Kohler Art Center, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, in Oregon, and in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden at the White House, and he has received numerous awards, including the 2007 Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

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