Saturday, February 6, 2010

Galen Wickersham Profile

Galen Wickersham grew up in Magnum, Oklahoma but moved to Washington, DC in 1941 when his father was elected to the U.S. Congress. As a teenager, Galen enjoyed building model planes, trains and military vehicles. So, when he learned about the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild competition, creating a model car came naturally. He won awards for four years straight beginning in 1948 and began attending the General Motors Institute after graduating from Anacostia High School in 1952.

Oldsmobile concept in Wickersham's Senior Portfolio at Art Center.

Wickersham quickly learned engineering did not suit his interests or skills and returned home to Washington only to be drafted into the Army. After two years of service Galen returned to DC and attended George Washington University for three semesters. Then the industrial design program at Art Center College in Los Angeles caught his attention. Galen applied for admission with a few drawings and illustrations he had - along with one of his FBCG models.

Another concept in Galen's Art Center Senior Portfolio.

When Galen was accepted, he quickly sold his new Thunderbird and bought a station wagon to move his young family out to California. Some of his classmates at Art Center were Syd Mead, Jerry Brockstein, Roger Hughet, Don Wood and Diran Yazejian. After graduating in 1959, Wickersham interviewed with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler and was offered an interior design job at GM and a position in exterior design at Chrysler. Because of his earlier experiences with the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, Galen accepted the GM offer and began work in the Pontiac Interior Studio.

Cadillac instrument panel - Prismacolor on Canson paper.

Over the course of his 41 year career at General Motors, Galen worked on numerous Pontiac, Chevrolet, Cadillac and truck interiors. He also did work on truck exteriors in the late 1990’s before retiring in 2000.

Chevrolet interior proposal.

Galen is an avid collector of toys, designer lamps, primitive and contemporary paintings, prints and ceramics.

Another Cadillac interior design.

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