Cedarburg-born artist Edward Boerner (1902 - 1981) spent over five decades of his artistic career depicting an idealized Wisconsin landscape with the fervor of a devoted, regionalist artist. He was most known for his watercolors, but he often explored and found mastery in other mediums including printmaking. Boerner became deeply embedded and renowned in the artistic community of Wisconsin in the course of his training and most notably, during his lengthy career as a teacher due to his generous nature and influence on many area artists.
After receiving a B.A. in 1926 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Boerner continued his studies at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and University of Iowa where he trained under the notable regionalist painter Grant Wood and received his M.A. in 1940. Meanwhile, Boerner began his teaching career in the mid-1920s with summer art classes in renovated log cabin near Holy Hill, WI and then taught art classes at Koscuszko Junior High School in Milwaukee. From 1940 to 1947, Boerner taught at Milwaukee’s Wisconsin State Teachers College, now known as University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Boerner served as the Head of the art department at Bay View Pulaski and Rufus King High Schools until his retirement in 1967. His career as an outstanding art teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system lasted for 42 years.
Boerner was a member and president of Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, a member of the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, Wisconsin Council, Wisconsin Art Teachers Association, and Rural Rembrandts of Wautoma. After his retirement from public school teaching in 1968, Boerner continued to serve the community by serving on the Milwaukee City Art Commission, to which he was first appointed in 1970.
Twelve watercolor paintings featuring rural Wisconsin landscape and still lifes along with nine prints from his “Wisconsin Bird” series are gifts to the Cedarburg Art Museum from the Ronald P. Stifter DDS Family.