Monty Clell Wanamaker

Monty Clell Wanamaker, age 79, of McMinnville, TN, passed away on January 23, 2018 at St. Thomas River Park Hospital. His wishes were to be cremated and no memorial services.

Monty was born in Grundy County, TN, the son of the late Clifton and Louella Roberts Wanamaker. He was a self-employed artist/entrepreneur, whose art has been exhibited in numerous galleries, universities and museums since 1962, including Magness Library. At the age of 23, his first exhibit was in 1962 at the Parthenon Museum galleries in Nashville, TN, where he became the youngest curator. He was a member of the staff at The Phillips Collection, the country’s premier gallery of Modern Art. While living in New York City in the late 60’s, Monty studied at the Art Students League and had 2 successful solo shows. Art critics proclaimed him a “master craftsman” and a “mythical symbolist.” Also as a poet, Monty presented multi-media concerts, including one presented in 1979 at New York’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. His most current work, developed over a 25-year span, was first shown in 1999, at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN, where his multi-dimensional collages/assemblages were labeled “Visual Poems” by Chattanooga Times critic Ann Nichols. His works also included a book written about Warren County native, Dottie West.

Monty is survived by two sisters, Betty (Jesse) Betschart of Monteagle, TN and Kathy (John) Hipps of Altamont, TN; nephew, Jason (Lesa) Scott of McMinnville, TN; great-nephews, Landon and Brayden Scott; several cousins; a special friend, Chris Keathley; and a lot of special friends all over the country.

Memorial donations may be made to Southern Museum, 210 East Main Street, McMinnville, TN 37110 or Magness Memorial Library, 118 W. Main Street,
McMinnville, TN 37110