Written by Denise Collingwood, Struthers Historical Society
William Paul Jenkins was born during a lightning storm on July 12, 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri. He was the son of William B. Jenkins and Nadyne Fellers.
In his teenage years, Jenkins moved to Struthers, Ohio to live with his mother, Nadyne Herrick, and stepfather. The Herrick's owned and operated the Struthers, Campbell and Lowellville Journals. After graduating from Struthers High School, he served in the U.S. Maritime Service and entered the U.S. Naval Air Corps during World War II. In 1948, he moved to New York City where, on the G.I. Bill, he studied at the Art Students League of New York for four years. In 1953, he traveled to Europe, working for three months in Taormina in Sicily before settling in Paris. From 1955 on, the artist shared his time between New York and Paris.
Jenkin's first solo exhibition took place in 1945 at Studio Paul Facchetti on the rue de Lille, Paris, France. The same year, The Pioneering Garrery of Zoe Dusanne of Seattle, Washington hosted his first US solo exhibition. Over the years, his work has been shown worldwide at majoy galleries and museums in Tokyo, London, New York, Paris and Amsterdam.
Jenkins gained notoriety when his paintings appeared in
the Academy Award nominated 1978 movie An Unmarried
Woman directed by Paul Mazursky. A selection of Jenkins' works
from the fifties are featured in the 1998 film A
Soldier's Daughter Never Cries from the novel by Kaylie Jones.
Paul Jenkins died at the age of 88 on June 9, 2012, after a short illness. Left to grieve his death, his wife, Suzanne and daughter, Hillarie.
Jenkins’ work can be found in many international
museums and collections. He gifted several of his paintings to the Struthers
Historical Society. The Butler Art Museum in Youngstown also owns many
of his works.