Charles Banks Wilson
Judge Roy Bean
Charles Banks Wilson’s painting of Woody Guthrie.
CBW and Ted Watts May 4 . 1986
Charles Banks Wilson, left, with Ted Watts, at the May 4, 1986, opening of Watts’ Sports Art Galley in Oswego, Kan.
CBW and Thomas Hart Benton in Miami OK circa 1955 (2)
Charles Banks Wilson, right, with Thomas Hart Benton in Miami, circa 1955
- In their words...
“Charles Banks Wilson will be remembered as an Oklahoma treasure who inspired so many lives as a faculty member at NEO A&M College and as Oklahoma's most iconic artist,”
-NEO A&M President Dr. Jeff Hale
“His artwork is so superior to anybody around here, there's nobody even close to his artwork....As a friend we had lots of fun together and kidded each other. Jane and I would enjoy visiting with him about people that we knew. I bought art from him. I said one time, 'I'd like to buy that Charles,' and he said, 'You can't afford it.' We just had fun together....He was very generous with his work. It was fun to get to know a great person and his work will be around long, long, long, after all of us.”
- Willie Osborn
“He was an absolute jewel. He was my teacher, he was my mentor, but he was always my friend,”
“We've known Charles and his family a long time, and my Dad knew him when they were both young men, many decades. Charles used to walk by our office to the post office all the time and he and Dad would talk and chat. I think that many times people in Miami take Charles and his work for granted because he was such a good man and so accessible, but the scope and magnitude and scale and beauty of his work is amazing. He's a world renowned artist and we were very fortunate to have him be part of our community and part of our life here in Miami.”
- Chuck Neal
“I was just thinking what a pleasure it was, that being from Miami and being so familiar with Charles, and yet he was a nationally recognized artist, and what a pleasure it was to be walking through the Smithsonian Art Museum and seeing his portrait of Will Rogers. It was really striking to me that I could travel far from home and still see his work. And of course his Gilcrease exhibit was phenomenal. The thing about Charles was, he really had a great understanding of the people and places that he was painting. It wasn't just a superficial painting there was always story and a back story, and Charles was very interested in sharing Oklahoma history.”
“It's a sad day, I knew him since I could walk... My Dad posed for Sequoyah. I posed for him for the murals. He had clay models and everything that was in the murals was in clay. He would position me and take pictures to work from....If it hadn't have been for Charles, I'd have never brought my art out in the open. He told me to keep on drawing. He liked Miami and he liked people, and I already miss my friend.”
Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 4:58 pm
Updated: 4:58 pm, Sat May 4, 2013.
“His legacy would be for people to enjoy his art and to understand the history behind it,” Carrie said. “And to inspire.”
Wilson’s artwork has been displayed in exhibits and galleries across the United States and the world, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress.
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Friday, May 3, 2013 4:58 pm.
Updated: 4:58 pm.