Who is Wayne Ensrud?

Wayne Ensrud is an internationally known and acclaimed artist who has had over 60 exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Japan.

Wayne Ensrud was born in Minnesota of Norwegian parents Blanche and Emmett Carlyle Ensrud. His promising career as a star half-back football player was cut short by a serious knee injury which left him free to pursue his other great passion: art.

Ensrud's career began at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where he met the 20th century master, Oskar Kokoschka. A life-long relationship with Kokoschka followed where Ensrud's fiery temperament found expression in his artistic creations. Kokoschka encouraged Ensrud's belief that art can create a condition that will give man a true sense of the moral, ethical and dignifying view of creation. Painting stirs emotions to create an experience for the viewer.

Known foremost as a painter, he has also held esteemed positions as the youngest Art Director of the Dept. of Motion Pictures and Television for the University of California; Executive Art Director of PBS_TV, New York City; Designer of Animation of man's first walk in space for the ABC-TV Gemini Space Program; and Creative Director for the award-winning film series, "The Computer and the Mind of Man" for I.B.M.

Ensrud's exceptional artistry has carried his centrifugal energies into the classroom and other situations:

He has sketched the Detroit Grand Prix and the APBC Gold cup; He created 50 editions of lithographs that convey the passionate vivacity of his paintings on the same Marinoni press used by Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard and Picasso; Pablo Casals invited him to execute drawings of his master class series at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, Ensrud illustrated the drawings of Ogden Nash, John Fowles and John O'Hara.

Ensrud has been a guest professor of landscape painting and an artist- in-residence at Simon's Rock Early College. For 13 years, he taught at the Cumberland School in Great Neck, New York where Louise Nevelson and Larry Rivers were also instructors. For four years, he taught film animation at Pratt Institute. In October 2003, Ensrud lectured on the creative process at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

For the 1999 Avignon-New York Film Festival, Ensrud created the official poster and logo.



Ensrud's love affair with wine began in 1974 when he was invited to spend a week at Chateau Bouscaut in the Graves region of France during the harvest to create paintings.

Upon his return, he was invited by Jean Vallier, Director of the French Institute-Alliance Francaise, to be the first American to exhibit in the institute's gallery. The show was a smashing success - all of the more than 45 paintings were sold. The exhibition caught the eyes of Sam and Michael Aaron who invited Ensrud to exhibit at their most distinguished wine venue, Sherry-Lehmann.

It was the first of over 30 successful exhibitions and catalogues showing Ensrud works. Ensrud is continuing in the tradition of the great masters Picasso, Miro and Toulouse-Lautrec who before him had previously been highlighted in this capacity.

Ensrud's respected preeminence in the wine world combined with his knowledge and enthusiasm for wine has made him the most sought- after painter to portray the landscapes, lifestyles and aesthetics of wine and food. Such prominent figures of the wine world such as Alexis Lichine, Aubert de Villaine (proprietor of Domaine de la Romanee- Conti), Robert Mondavi and Georges Duboeuf (the "King of Beaujolais") have all embraced Ensrud's explosive depictions on canvas of the joys of wine. The stimulus of wine has proved to encourage the vivacity of Ensrud's paintings. In 1990, Ensrud was inducted into the Society of Grappilieurs of Beaujolais, France. In 2003, he was inducted into the Compagnons du Beaujolais. In 1997, Ensrud was inducted into the prestigious wine society, the Commanderie du Bontemps de Medoc et des Graves.

Ensrud has been a guest and has painted all of the major chateaux and vineyards of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Chateauneuf du Pape and Italy including Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Mouton- Rothschild, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Chateau de la Nerthe and Sassicaia in Italy.

Ensrud's commissions include: the famous Willi's Wine Bar of Paris poster for their 10th anniversary and for the year 2000; Moet-Chandon Champagne, Krug Champagne, Martell Cognac, Godiva Liqueur, American Express, House of Seagram, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Leflaive, Duboeuf Vineyards, Chateau de la Nerthe, Barton & Guestier and Robert Mondavi.

Ensrud is the only American artist ever commissioned by Georges Duboeuf to create the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau poster.


In September 2006, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf commissioned Ensrud to create two editions of lithographs at the world-renowned Mourlot/ IDEM Atelier in Paris. Ensrud worked on the same Marinoni press used by such artists as Picasso, Bonnard and Chagall.

From June 15 - September 16, 2007, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf presented a solo exhibition of their collection of nearly 100 Ensrud paintings, watercolors, collages and drawings at ther museum of wine located at their Hameau du Vin in Romaneche-Thorins (Beaujolais).


In 1993, 1994 and 1995, Ensrud was commissioned to create the national poster for Taste of the Nation, the national event sponsored by Seagrams, American Express and Share Our Strength to help the fight against hunger.


In 1996, Barton & Guestier commissioned Ensrud to create their Beaujolais Nouveau poster.



In 1999, Robert and Margrit Mondavi commissioned Ensrud to create the poster image for their Summer Jazz Festival.



In June 2001, Robert Mondavi presented 20 jeroboam bottles hand-painted by Ensrud at the prestigious Napa Valley Wine Auction that were sold at the auction for $260,000. The 20 jeroboams commemorate the 20th anniversary of the auction and contain the Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon reserve wines from each of the 1981-2001 vintages.

In 1999 and 2000, the Federation des Vignerons de Chateauneuf du Pape sponsored an exhibition of Ensrud's paintings which were shown in the Castle of the Pope in Chateauneuf du Pape.

Ensrud has painted and toured all of the three-star restaurants of France, the top New York City restaurants, the renowned bistros of Paris, the famous 'belle epoque' cafes of Paris and the top Napa Valley restaurants. His paintings hang in the three-star French restaurants Troisgros, Paul Bocuse, Leon de Lyon, Lameloise, Moulin de Mougins and Georges Blanc.

In New York City, Ensrud's paintings of the acclaimed restaurants, Le Cirque 2000 and Osteria del Circo were acquired by the Maccioni family and are now displayed in the restaurants. Tony May, owner of the top Italian erstaurant, San Domenico, commissioned Ensrud to create a painting of the restaurant which is also there on display.

Ensrud has created murals for Le Moulin du Village, Paris; Duboeuf Vineyards; Mulhern's, San Francisco; the Hyatt-Regency Hotel, minneapolis; Nanni il Valletto, New York City; Jim McMullen's, New York City; Diva, New York City and La Serre restaurant, New York City.

Wine Journal by Wayne Ensrud (Galison Press, New York) is a book of Ensrud's lyrical paintings of the wine and food world for the appreciation of art and wine connoisseurs alike. The introduction for the two volume set was written by Robert Mondavi.


Wine: Paintings by Wayne Ensrud with Wine Tips by New York Times Wine Connoisseur Frank Prial (Galison Press, New York) is a two volume set of greeting cards with accompanying wine tips by Frank Prial.


In the autumn of 1999, Bruce McGaw Graphics, the largest publisher of posters and prints in the world, released the first print series of Ensrud's paintings of the wine world.


In November 2000, the Wine Spectator magazine presented a feature article about Ensrud's work in the world of wine.

The world of music has also embraced Ensrud's vibrant artistic expressions. At the invitation of Pinchas Zuckerman, Itzhak Perlman and Gervase de Peyer, Ensrud executed drawings for the New York Chamber Society's 10th Anniversary. He has designed posters for events at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. He also designed the poster for the award-winning feature film, 'The Last of the Blue Devils," about the Kansas City jazz greats. Kansas City Film/TV produced a half-hour feature of "Ensrud's Kansas City Jazz Suite," an exhibition of paintings he created in homage to that city's role in nurturing great jazz talent of the past.

Ensrud has also created a series of paintings called, "The Jazz Immortal Portraits," which include vibrant portraits of Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, Count Basie, George Shearing and other jazz legends donated to the Berklee College of Music.

Selected Exhibitions: Oakland Art Museum, Bristol Art Museum, New England Center for Contemporary Art, French Institute (New York City), Minneapolis Institute of Art, Old State House Museum, University of Connecticut, National Arts Club, Automation House (New York City), Buffalo Museum of Science, Great Neck Arts Center (New York), Galerie Damien (Paris), Sansio Gallery (Tokyo), Slater Museum, Modern Masters Gallery (New York City).

Listings: Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in the East, American Artists Directory, Men of Achievement, International Printworld Directory of Contemporary Prints and Prices and the New York Art Review.

Awards: Oscar D'Italia; Lever House Award; Minnesota Hall of Fame; Rothschild Design Award; Grappileur du Beaujolais; Compagnon du Beaujolais; Commandeur du Bontemps de Medoc et des Graves.

Teaching and Lecturing: Pratt Institute; Cumberland School; Simon's Rock Early College.

Guest Speaker Engagements: Minneapolis College of Art and Design ("The Creative Process")