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PRINT Summer 2001

FIRST BREAK

Wayne Thiebaud

IN 1962, Wayne K. Thiebaud was forty-one. Recently divorced and remarried, he had just taken a job as assistant professor of art at the University of California's sleepy Davis campus. Over the years, he'd worked as a commercial illustrator, layout editor, and cartoonist, and for the last ten years as an art instructor at Sacramento Junior College. His first one-man show outside Sacramento, held the previous November at Art Unlimited in San Francisco, had produced no sales and only one review, a dopey feature in the San Francisco Chronicle that called Thiebaud “the hungriest artist in California.”

So he did what any enterprising artist would do: He went to New York. “For some time I had been taking students there to look at exhibitions,” the eighty-year-old Thiebaud recalls. “Whenever I went to New York I would go around and try to get some place to show my work. I wasn't having any luck at

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