BiographyWilliam John Ellingson was born in Forrestburg, South Dakota, on March 29, 1933. After active duty in the U.S. Air Force, he earned a BFA degree in painting and drawing from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1960 and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa in 1963. He had additional education from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the University of Minnesota. Ellingson taught printmaking in the Department of Art at St. Cloud State University from 1963 until his retirement. He died on February 13, 1994.
Ellingson’s prints have been exhibited in international exhibitions and selected for the “Arts in Embassies” program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. He has had numerous one-man shows throughout the United States and participated in countless national, regional and local exhibitions. His art is in many permanent collections such as those of the University of Iowa, Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, and the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota. He also has sold many art works to private collectors in the US, Japan, Germany, Denmark and England.
Ellingson exhibited in several Fine Arts Festivals sponsored by Luther College. Dr. Marion Nelson, director emeritus of Vesterheim, the Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, and an art historian at the University of Minnesota, considered Ellingson to be a Norwegian-American artist. Ellingson was not included I his exhibit catalog listed below because he was “just entering the scene” around the cutoff date for the catalog of 1970.
Source of BiographyWho’s Who in American Art; Nelson, Marion John. Paintings by Minnesotans of Norwegian Background 1870-1970. Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 2000