Gates, Wendall N. (1911-2000)

Gates, Wendall N. (1911-2000)

Date Updated




Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Univ. of Guanajuato, Instituto Allende, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, 1958 MFA

Western Reserve University, 1938 MA

Cleveland School of Art, 1934

Teaching Experience

San Jose State College & University, 1945-1976

Lowry Field, Denver, Photography, 1941-1943

College of Wooster, Wooster, OH, 1938-1941

Parks School, Cleveland Heights, OH, 1934-1938

Personal Commentary

After graduating from the Cleveland School of Art in 1934, I taught at the Park School in Cleveland Heights for 4 years and earned a Master of Arts degree from the Western Reserve University in 1938. I left Park School to teach art at the College of Wooster, Ohio, where I taught for 3 1/2 years.

Then, World War II came along. I enlisted in the Army Air Force and shortly thereafter I married my wife of 54 years. During the war, I spent 2 years teaching photography at Lowry Field in Denver and 22 months in Agra, India, in military photography and public relations. While in the service, my son was born.

After the war, I got a job teaching art at San Jose State College in San Jose, California. I taught there until I retired in 1976. In that time, my daughters were born; I helped developed the Art Department and establish the Master of Arts degree. I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at the University of Guanajuato, Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and San Jose State College became San Jose State University. My family and I spent several wonderful summers in San Miguel, while I studied for my M.F.A.

My wife was also a teacher. During her career, she taught several subjects and was a school librarian at several grade schools in Sunnyvale, California.

Through the years I have had numerous exhibitions at local and regional galleries of my paintings, drawings and sculpture. My last show was an exhibition of wire sculptures in 1992 at the Chaminade in Santa Cruz, California. I have been battling Parkinson's disease for over 20 years now, and sought to convey a sense of the experience of living with this disease through these wire sculptures, which combine significant movement with sculptural form without mechanical additions. These are probably my most original work and greatest contribution to art.

Date Completed: 7/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Gates, Wendall N. (1911-2000)