Milton Wright was born in Dayton OH in 1920. He exhibited an early talent in drawing and began classes at the Dayton Art Institute when he was just seven years old.
He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1942 from Miami University in Oxford, OH, where he met his mentor and lifelong friend, Martson “Bud” Hodgin, a painter, and also the Dean of Fine Arts at Miami University. During WWII, Wright was drafted into the Army Air Corps Training Film Unit in Denver, CO and spent his weekends sketching abandoned silver mining towns of the area. In 1944, the Denver Art Museum mounted a successful solo exhibit of paintings and prints on those sketches.
After the war, he moved to NY where he married Breene Loughridge. The couple sailed to Paris, France in 1948 where Milton studied painting at the Academie Julian for two years under the GI Bill. Milton’s French oils, watercolors and drawings were shown in Paris at the Galerie Ariel in 1950. Painting en plein air under the Mediterranean sun radically changed Milton’s palette and creative vision. The intensity, clarity, tone, and transparency of his work changed with the atmosphere and light of the region. He loved the work of Cezanne, Matissee and Picasso and his earlier paintings exhibit elements that reflect the influence of these artists.
Returning to NYC, Milton began teaching at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1950. During a teaching career that spanned more than 20 years, he taught painting and drawing at Brooklyn Poly Prep, Queen’s College, Long Island University, Brooklyn campus. During the next twenty years Milton exhibited widely in NYC galleries, and was represented by galleries on the Cape.
Breene Wright said that Milton painted every day of this life. While maintaining and active teaching career and helping to raise a daughter and son, Milton continued to paint, in Brooklyn, in NYC, in Provincetown and in his studio next to the family’s summer cottage in North Truro on Cape Cod. They came to Truro every year. In 1977, Milton retired from teaching and moved his family to Great Hollow, North Truro, where he was actively involved in the community and in serving on the Board of Directors of the Truro Historical Society. He was often asked to speak about his famous granduncles, Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers of flight, and to share artifacts of the Wright Brothers with the local school children.
Milton Wright’s work captured the spirit and the mutability of the landscape wherever he painted. He referred to himself as a “colorist” His works from the 1950 and 60s are fascinating documentations of the era including the building of the Verrazano Bridge, the dredging of the East River, street scenes of Brooklyn, and the dockworkers and active fishing fleet scenes of Provincetown, the beauty of the landscape and seascapes in Truro. These oils and watercolors exhibit a strong palette with Cubist overtones, which are very different from his later works, which were more impressionistic of his style. Hie energetic and almost frenetic brushwork in the later works was a unique method he developed that heightened his bold use of color making each blade of grass stand out along the dunes as an integral part of the Cape Cod landscape, drenched in sunlight and shadow. He is best known for his oils and watercolors.
"Corn Hill Cottages", 1962
25×21, oil on canvas