Memorial services for Robert N. Sudlow, 90, Lawrence, will be held 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence. A private family inurnment will be held prior to the service. He died Thursday, March 25, 2010 at his home. He was born February 25, 1920, in Holton, Kan., the son of Fred and Adria (Newton) Sudlow.
Mr. Sudlow studied with Albert Bloch at Kansas University, receiving a bachelor of fine arts, and then with Richard Diebenkorn at the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, where he earned his master’s in fine arts. He studied at the Acade’mie Andre’ Lhote and the Acade’mie de la Grande Chaumie’re, both in Paris, and at the University of California, Berkeley. He enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a Navy rescue pilot in WWII and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross.
He returned to Kansas in 1945, married Lillian Gehb of Berkeley, Calif., and began teaching at KU in 1947. He was appointed professor of drawing and painting and taught for 41 years, retiring in 1987 as professor emeritus of art. He received many fellowships and awards, including the Kansas Governor’s Artist Award, 1974, and Kansan of the Year by Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas in 1997. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and is included in the collections of the St. Louis Art Museum; Cleveland Museum of Art; Joslyn Art Museum; Mulvane Art Museum; Albrecht-Kemper Museum; Brooklyn Museum; Nelson-Atkins Museum; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery; Spencer Museum of Art, Beach Museum of Art and many more. In 1987, Landscapes in Kansas, a book of Robert Sudlow’s paintings, was published by the University of Kansas Press, and in 2002, the book Spiritual Journeys: the Art of Robert Sudlow was published. He traveled to Lawrence’s sister city, Eutin, Germany, in 2001 and displayed his paintings there as part of a cultural exchange between the two cities. His art career encompassed more than 60 years and continued into retirement, as he expressed his love of nature by portraying the landscapes of Kansas through oil paintings and lithographs. His art was more than the images on canvas; it was how he lived his life and shared it with others. That capacity to transform how we see the world around us is an enduring legacy, as much as the special landscapes he bequeathed to all of us.
Mr. Sudlow married Barbara Keeler Wolf in 1985, and she survives of the home. Other survivors include his daughters Mitzi Sudlow and Amy Sudlow, Lawrence, Gretchen Sudlow, Arcata, Calif.; his son Peter Sudlow, Lawrence; stepchildren Felicia Owens, Reno, Nev., Mindy Small, Denver, Colo., and Grant Wolf, Houston, Texas; grandchildren Rachael Sudlow and Quentin Sudlow; 10 step grandchildren; his sister Alice Ash, Holton, Kan.; niece Adria Herrmann of Cheney, Kan., and nephew Abe Ash of Holton, Kan.
The family will greet friends following the services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in his name to the Nature Conservancy or Kansas Land Trust and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain mortuary.