Arthur Helwig, past president of the Cincinnati Art Club (1939 to 1941), was an active artist and a teacher for well over forty years. During this period he exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe and in over twenty different cities across this country from New York to San Francisco. He has won four 1st prize awards in national shows for his lithographic prints. He has also won a number of awards for his paintings.
Helwig’s involvement as an art instructor is no less impressive. He not only taught day classes but for many years taught evening classes and summer classes at the Cincinnati Art Academy.
Arthur Helwig was born in Cincinnati in 1899. His interest in art began while in the fourth grade when he acquired the habit of drawing in his school books, a practice which was not appreciated by his teachers. Arthur quit school at the age of 15 in order to help support his brothers and sisters due to the illness of his father.
His first job was working for Theodore Dorl (Art Club President, 1912 1914) at the U.S. Printing and Engraving Co. who talked Arthur into studying nights at the Art Academy. His first instructor at the Art Academy was Bessie Hoover Wessel. He then went on to study under James Hopkins. In 1918 Arthur’s art education was temporarily halted while he played a tenor sax in a jazz band. After two years as a musician he returned to the U.S. Printing and Engraving Co., and then later went on to the Perry Alsfelder Engraving Co. In 1921 he started as a designer at the Gibson Greeting Card Co., while at the same time resumed night classes at the Art Academy.
In 1926, Arthur Helwig and Wilbur Adams went on an eight-week sketching and painting trip through the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was after this trip that Arthur decided that the fine arts field was where he really wanted to work, so he quit his job and started as a full-time student (day and night classes) at the Art Academy.
Arthur Helwig worked in oils, watercolor, and various printing methods. He was also well known in the area as a mural painter. He did murals for a number of local schools, churches, and industrial buildings, including a mural at the Cincinnati Milacron Co. His work is included as part of the collections of a number of museums including the Philadelphia Museum, the Cleveland Museum, and the Chicago Art Institute as well as the Cincinnati Art Museum. His works are also represented in numerous private collections throughout the country.