The Mineralogical Record
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Wendell E. Wilson
(1946-    )

Wendell Eugene Wilson was born in Minnesota in 1946, and began collecting minerals in 1956. A life-long artist, he studied at the Minneapolis Institute of Art while still in high school and began selling his artworks as a young teenager. He won numerous awards in art, including first place in a statewide cartooning competition in 1959. In college he pursued a double-major in Fine Art and Geology at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1969. He earned his M.S. in Mineralogy (1972) from Arizona State University, while field-collecting extensively in Arizona's many abandoned mines and famous mineral localities. After obtaining his PhD in Mineralogy (1976) from the University of Minnesota, he was hired by the Mineralogical Record and is currently in his 35th year as full-time Editor-in-Chief (1976-2010), and his 26th as Publisher and corporation CEO.

In addition to collecting minerals, Wilson built substantial collections of mining artifacts of all kinds, and published three books on antique miners' lamps, containing hundreds of hand-drawn pen-and-ink illustrations of miners' oil-wick “frog” lamps, candleholders, and carbide cap lamps. Some of his collectibles appear as props in his paintings of underground scenes. His first mineral painting appeared on the cover of the November-December 1972 issue of Mineralogical Record. His series of fantasy mineral-collecting scenes now numbers 14, and he has produced numerous specimen portraits in oil on canvas, watercolor, India ink and mixed media, as well as a number of highly detailed mining still life paintings in oil on canvas, oil on copper, and India ink. Over the years Wilson has continued to produce artworks regularly as time permits. He also founded the Antiquarian Reprint Series as a method of preserving and distributing very rare, early illustrated mineral books, featuring mineral art from before the age of photography. Wilson has published over 1,000 mineral and mining artworks, and over 6,500 mineral photographs. The new mineral species wendwilsonite was named in his honor in 1987 and he was the recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2001. Wilson continues to publish the Mineralogical Record and to write about, paint, research, photograph and collect minerals in Tucson, Arizona (e-mail:

Mitchell, R. S. (1988) Who's who in mineral names: Wendell Eugene Wilson, Jr. and Ignacio Domeyko. Rocks & Minerals, 63, 400-402.
Robinson, S. (1987) Mineral art today. Rocks & Minerals, 62, 328-343.
Robinson, S. (1987) Of mines and men: a look at art that depicts mining. Rocks & Minerals, 64, 476-495.
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 97 | Artworks being viewed: 97 to 97

The Mineralogical Record: Wendell E. Wilson - Silver from Copper Falls, Michigan Silver from Copper Falls, Michigan
India ink on paper (1986), based on a specimen in the Don Olson collection; published in Mineralogical Record in vol. 17, no. 1, page 44.
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The Mineralogical Record Museum of Art is is supported entirely by donations from
Kathryn and Bryan Lees, Rob Lavinsky, Wendell Wilson and Susan Robinson.

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