C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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Clarence Hotvedt’s older sister Mabel, was the first to recognize his talent, With her encouragement his first efforts as an aritist and designer were his high school’s annual yearbooks.  He began his formal study of art at the University of Minnesota after graduating from high school.  He enrolled with the intention of studying architecture but soon decided he was more interested in art and the following year began his studies at the Chicago Art Institute.  He borrowed $200, bused dishes at a local cafeteria and worked at the public library to pay his expenses.  After graduation a chance street encounter with Edmund Kopietz, who also had attended the Art Institute, Hotvedt learned that C.A. Seward, the Director of Western Lithograph in Wichita had a position open on his staff.   Hotvedt applied for the job, was hired and reported for work in January of 1924. 

In interviews and letters Hotvedt provided descriptions of this first job as a commercial artist and working under the supervision of Seward.  “ I can’t ever exaggerate his (Seward’s) contribution.”  “He (Seward) was my god those first years.”  “We all worked together at Western Lithograph and spent our lunch hours talking art at the Fairland Cafe where we could get a meal for 45cents.”  Later in a presentation for the Wichita Art Association Hotvedt introduced his presentation on Seward with the following statement, ”The early history of the Art Association, and in fact, the total art life of Wichita during the years he was with us was so intermixed with the career of C.A. Seward that one can scarcely mention either without bringing in his name.  In my opinion no other person you can name had the impact on Wichita art life that Seward had.”

By 1925, again with Seward’s help, Hotvedt was hired as the first paid teacher at the Wichita Art Association.  He taught the life drawing classes until he left Wichita to pursue a job opportunity in Fort Worth, Texas.  He then worked in Texas, New York City and then Providence, Rhode Island until he returned to Wichita in 1946 as the Director of the Art Department at Western Lithograph.  He remained in this position until his retirement in 1969.  Upon his return to Wichita Hotvedt once again took an active interest in the Wichita Art Association and the Wichita Artist’s Guild.

Hotvedt’s work encompasses a broad range of interests.  His works include oil paintings and water colors as well as prints. He had of course, studied print making at the Chicago Art Institute, but it was during his years working with Seward and then as a member of the Prairie Print Makers that he devoted a large amount of time to making prints.  During the years between 1924 and 1936, when he resided in Wichita and then Fort worth he created almost three quarters of his approximately 40 prints. After leaving Fort Worth for work in New York City and then Providence, Rhode Island, Hotvedt explained that he became inactive as a printmaker.  In an interview he stated that this inactivity was not only a result of the demands of his work as a commercial artist but also the void which resulted from Seward’s death in 1939.  After his retirement in 1969, Hotvedt resumed his interested in printmaking, focusing on lithographs and etchings. During this time he created lithographs depicting several historic Wichita building. The primary subject for all of his work has been the Midwest. A lengthy tour of Texas and part of Mexico in 1934 and then experiences during his years in Rhode Island also inspired some of his prints and paintings.

Hotvedt signed his work “C.A. Hotvedt.”  Most of his prints were planned as edition of fifty however in many cases the complete edition was not printed.


16 April 1900, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

1991, Wichita, Kansas


University of Minnesota

Chicago Art Institute (graduated with honors in 1923)

Professional Positions & Honors:

1924-31 Western Lithograph  1931-33 Stafford-Lowden Engraving Co, Texas

1938-1946 Livermore and Knight Co, Rhode Island

1946-69 Art Director, Western Lithograph

Charter Member:

Prairie Print Makers

Wichita Artist Guild

Exhibited with:

Printmakers Society of California

Philadelphia Society of Etchers

Northwest Printmakers

Print Club of Philadelphia

Exhibitions include:

Midwest Artists’ Exhibitions, Kansas City Art Institute

1926 - oil - Portrait

1929 - oil - Sand Boat, Still Life & lithograph - Mid-Summer Sun

1930 - The Mill Road, Two Pines

Fort Worth Museum of Art

Chicago Art Institute


Clarence A. Hotvedt 1900 - 1991

Images (left to right, top to bottom): “Provincetown,” “Four Brothers,” “On the Road to Monterrey,” “On Naragansett Bay,” “Summer Shadows,” “The Old Guard” drawing “E. Davison,” “Old & Tired,”-  “Untitled blockprint,” “Midsummer Sun,” and “Old Mission.”

Sources: “The Prairie Print Makers”, Barbara Thompson-O’Neill, George Foreman & Howard Ellington, 1981 and interview notes and letters, and Clarence A. Hotvedt’s lecture on C.A. Seward for the Wichita Art Association and Reuben Saunders, Artworks Gallery, Wichita, KS.

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