Wake Forest Historical Museum

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The Paintings of B.W. Wells

February 13, 2020 @ 12:00 am March 18, 2020 @ 11:59 pm

The Wake Forest Historical Museum is pleased to host a traveling exhibit created by the North Carolina State Parks and featuring the reproduced paintings of B.W. Wells.

Born in Ohio in 1884, Bertram Whittier Wells came to North Carolina in 1919 to lead the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. Wells devoted his career to the study and preservation of North Carolina’s natural environment. In 1932, he published The Natural Gardens of North Carolina, his most famous work.

Photo of The Paintings of B. W. Wells exhibit.

In 1950, Wells and his wife Maude Barnes Wells retired to a property on the Neuse River in Wake County known as Rockcliff Farm. Inspired by the idyllic setting, Wells taught himself to paint in the 1970s. Many of his paintings feature North Carolina landscapes like Rock Cliff Farm and Zeagle’s Rock, and Wells became well-known for his interesting painting techniques like using pine needles instead of traditional brushes. The Paintings of B.W. Wells features reproductions of some of these paintings.

The Paintings of B.W. Wells will be on display at the Wake Forest Historical Museum from February 13 through March 18, 2020. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular visiting hours.

Photograph of B. W. Wells, 1977
Image Citation: B. W. Wells, age 93, Bertram Whittier Wells Papers, MC00073,
NCSU Libraries’ Digital Collections: Rare and Unique Materials.