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All locations are in Wisconsin unless otherwise noted.

  • 1908

    Born in Buffalo, New York

  • 1911

    Family moves to Milwaukee

  • 1926

    Graduates from North Division High School, Milwaukee

  • 1927

    Becomes a full registered pharmacist

  • 1934

    Begins to draw and paint

  • 1935–36

    Joins Businessmen’s Sketch Club, Milwaukee, and studies with Robert Von Neumann. Meets Ruth Grotenrath, Agnes Jessen, Schomer Lichtner, Betsy Ritz, Robert Schellin, Alfred Sessler, and Santos Zingale. Begins to exhibit his work

  • 1936

    Takes classes at Layton School of Art, Milwaukee, with Gerrit Sinclair

  • 1937

    Wins first awards, at the 27th Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Annual Exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Institute, and at the Wisconsin State Fair. Marries Betsy Ritz

  • 1938

    Travels with Betsy Ritz Friebert to New York

  • 1941

    Wins award at the Chicago and Vicinity Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Daughter Susan is born. Moves to duplex on Newport Avenue, Milwaukee

  • 1942

    Enrolls at Milwaukee State Teachers College (MSTC) full-time. Works as a pharmacist on days when he is not in class and on weekends

  • 1945

    Daughter Judith is born. Graduates from MSTC with BS in art education. Teaches at the Layton School of Art

  • 1946

    Joins art faculty at MSTC (now University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee [UW–M])

  • 1947

    One of two Wisconsin artists chosen for the 142nd Annual Exhibition of American Paintings at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

  • 1948

    Purchases and moves to duplex on Larkin Street in the Milwaukee suburb Shorewood

  • 1950

    One of five Wisconsin artists chosen for the “American Painting Today: 1950” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • 1951

    Receives MS in art education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW), with a thesis on Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1948 Albert and Edith Adelman House, in the Milwaukee suburb Fox Point

  • 1952

    Wins top prize—Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Medal—at the Chicago and Vicinity Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago

  • 1952–53

    Spends academic year on a Ford Foundation Fellowship studying art and art education at the Art Students League and Columbia University, New York. The family lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey

  • 1956

    Selected by Katharine Kuh, curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago, for the United States Pavilion exhibition, “American Artists Paint the City,” at the 28th Venice Biennale. His Urban Cathedral is the only painting purchased from the American Pavilion.
    Moves to new home and studio, designed by Willis and Lillian Leenhouts, on Monrovia Avenue in the Milwaukee suburb Glendale

  • 1957

    Completes mural based on Isaiah 2:4 (“They will beat their swords into plowshares”) in lobby of Temple Shalom, Fox Point, Wisconsin. Becomes full professor at UW–M

  • 1961

    A travel grant from UW allows Friebert, along with wife, Betsy, and daughter Judith to travel for four months in Europe. They visit museums and sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Italy

  • 1963

    Betsy Ritz Friebert dies after a long battle with cancer

  • 1969

    First UW–M Art Department faculty member to be honored with a retrospective exhibition

  • 1976

    Retires from UW–M

  • 1990

    Receives grant from the Richard J. Florsheim Foundation

  • 2002

    Dies in Milwaukee at age ninety-four from heart failure

  • 2015–17

    The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA), West Bend, becomes the leading repository of Friebert’s art with a sizable donation from the Joseph and Betsy Ritz Friebert Family Partnership and Kohler Foundation, Inc. The family and the Kohler also gave works to other museums throughout the country.

    The art of Joseph Friebert can be found in nearly forty public art museums and university gallery collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University Evanston, IL; Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin (Madison); Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art; Davis Museum at Wellesley (Mass.) College; Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; Detroit Institute of Arts; Flint (Mich.) Institute of Arts; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY; Haggerty Museum at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Indiana University Art Museum; J. B. Speed Museum; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; Mariana Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, Manhattanville, KS; Mathis Gallery at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Milwaukee Art Museum; Mint Museum, Charlotte, N.C.; Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Peabody-Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Princeton (N.J.) University Art Museum; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; Sheldon Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; University of Georgia Art Museum, Athens; University of Michigan Art Museum, Ann Arbor; Wriston Galleries at Lawrence University, Appleton; and many other public and university/college museums/galleries in Wisconsin

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