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ARTIST NAME: Panko, William
ACCESSION NUMBER: 1973.013.022
DATE: 1943
CATEGORY: Painting
MEDIUM: watercolour
SUPPORT: paper
DIMENSIONS: Actual: 42.9 x 30.8 cm (16 7/8 x 12 1/8 in.) Frame: 55.5 x 45.7 x 2 cm (21 7/8 x 18 x 13/16 in.)
COLLECTION: Alberta Foundation for the Arts

OTHER HOLDINGS: Panko, William
ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: William Panko emigrated from Austria in 1911. Panko worked as a farm labourer in the summer months and as miner in Drumheller during the long Albertan winters. Panko fell ill with tuberculosis in 1937, and spent ten years at the Baker Memorial Sanatorium in Calgary. As a young man, Panko did not receive any formal art training; however, he seemed to have an innate understanding of colour and composition. Panko started painting at Baker Memorial, and with the support of well-known artist Marion Nicoll, he painted approximately 30 watercolour paintings. Nicoll insisted that his primitive folk style was unique, and she believed that he shouldn’t receive any formal instruction, as that type of tutelage would have disrupted his individualistic style. His works’ delineate scenes of his life, primarily they tell the tales of his life in Drumheller, from his garden to his home. The Coste House in Calgary exhibited his watercolour paintings during the winter of 1947. The Muttart Gallery, included Panko’s work in a travelling exhibition, titled The Primitives, which travelled to The Edmonton Art Gallery, The Prairie Gallery in Grande Prairie, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG). Panko passed away from a fatal heart attack on March 17, 1948 at the age of 56.

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