Jens Plum – painter

Jens Plum (1926 – 2002 ) was born in Rochester, NY. He studied at Art School, Copenhagen, Denmark (1947-1949), at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI  (1952-1954; B.F.A.), and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI (1954-1956; MFA). He taught at the University of Detroit (1956-1963) and the Department of Arts, Michigan State University (1963-1991).

At  Wayne State University, Plum met Robert Wilbert, a major figure of Detroit’s creative art community. Milton Avery was another source of inspiration since, in the Fifties,  Avery’s paintings were sold at the Donald Morris Gallery in Detroit. In Florida, Plum took a workshop with Janet Fish. Traveling internationally with his wife, Plum visited the  Giorgio Morandi museum in Bologna Italy. Like Morandi, Plum had a number of artifacts that he rearranged for his still lifes.

Plums had numerous national and regional exhibitions and One-Person-Shows. His paintings are part of permanent collections, for example, at Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI;

Together with his wife, Nancy Plum, Jens made a treasured contribution to the vibrant Lansing area art community.

The first and third picture shown here were captured by me with Nancy Plum’s permission in her late husband’s studio. The second picture came from a photo collection of Jens Plum’s paintings that Nancy made available to me.

2 thoughts on “Jens Plum – painter”

  1. When I was an undergraduate at theUW-Eau Claire in the early 1970’s I saw an exhibition by Jens. I will never forget the way that he manipulated value in his painting. I was astonished by the way he mastered light, and I have often aspired to do the same in my painting. I haven’t thought about this work in years, but it is an operating system in my minds eye, and I am very grateful for his vision and inspiration.

  2. Julie, I became friends with Nancy Plum only after Jens had died. Visiting Nancy, I spent much time in Jens’s studio photographing his remaining large paintings with my Nikon. Most of his work I only saw on color slides that I had helped Nancy organizing for her daughters, sorting the many duplicates. – Thank you for your comment. Looking at the paintings that I show here, I am again awed by his subtle sense of color.

    Did you know Jens? Did you study with him? What do you paint now?

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