Guillermo Wagner Granizo was born in San Francisco in 1923. His mother was from Nicaragua and for 11 years, he lived in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua as a boy where he began to appreciate ceramics and the freedom of expression of non-traditional art. Following World War II he graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute where he received training in the formal rules of color and design. He then served as the first Art Director for KRON television in San Francisco producing sets for the first live television shows until 1959.
Then he became a producer of educational films, the most meaningful of which were made on the creative Mexican genius artists of Tamayo, Siqueiros, Zuniga and Cuevas. These artists became friends who supported and encouraged Granizo to carry on with his dream to be a great artist.
Granizo devoted all of his energies to the rendering of ceramic tile murals and mosaics with special attention to the creatives uses of color glazes. In the late 70's he began an extraordinary career transformation as a ceramic tile muralist, historian and fine artist. Many of his works are on public display in many cities in California, the U.S. and the world. The most prominent cities displaying his art are in San Francisco, Benicia, Hillsborough, Napa, Pleasanton, Vacaville and Los Angeles. Additional works are displayed in Alaska, New Mexico, Philadelphia, Utah, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Guatemala, Japan and Nicaragua to name a few.
Many of his pieces are privately owned and in the spirit of establishing this site the family hopes to discover where many of his pieces reside. We welcome you to share pictures and your knowledge of Guillermo "Bill" Wagner Granizo in the "Contact" section of this site.
1923 Guillermo Wagner Granizo was born March 11 in San Francisco. Shortly after his birth his father, an archaeologist, moves the family to Nicaragua, the homeland of Granizo"s mother. 1934 The family returns to San Francisco upon the death of Granizo's sister from typhoid fever. 1943 Granizo begins military service in the U.S. Army 1944 Wounded in Normandy, he spends the next four years recovering in San Francisco's military hospitals. his hospitalization enforced confinement and Granizo begins exploring color, shape and line with paints and other media. Toward the end of his hospitalization, he spends several hours a day in classes at the San Francisco College of Art. 1948 Granizo leaves the hospital. 1949 Upon graduation from the College of Art, he is appointed Art Director for KRON-TV in San Francisco. 1958 Granizo returns to Central America and Mexico for extensive travel and research. Artist Benjamino Bufano encourages him to work in Mosaic. 1959 He begins a 15 year career as a producer of educational films. 1962 He completes eight large mosaic murals for the San Francisco Academy of Sciences and the Steinhart Aquarium. In the following years Granizo receives many mural commissions for civic, institutional and residential buildings. 1972 Granizo travels again to Mexico to produce films on the artists Zuniga, Tamayo, Cuevas and Siqueiros. His personal contact with these artists makes a deep impression on him. 1973 Inspired by this immersion in Mexican Art, he decides to devote his full time to exploring the ancient medium of glazed ceramic tile.. 1974 Granizo completes Noitan Rancnier, a major work illustrating his own physic poem. This mural is exhibited the same year at the Civic Center Sun Gallery in Hayward, California. He begins a "Cycle of Dreams" paintings. 1975 Four ceramic paintings are installed at S.F. International Airport. 1977 He completes 17 ceramic murals at the Bicentennial National Landmark Washington School in San Jose, California and mounts a one man exhibit at Harcourts Gallery. His work "Panorama San Francisco" is dedicated to the city in ceremonies making the mural's installation at the Anson Place in San Francisco. The Institute for Scientific Information Commissions a monumental work for their building in Philadelphia, 1979 An exhibition of major works at the Kimball Art Center, Park City, Utah. He received a mural commissions fromthe California State University, Los Angeles, the California Bar Association and the Powell Merchants Association in San Francisco. His works frequently incorporate Classic Literature, The Bible, Opera and Greek Mythology. 1980 At an exhibition of his new work at Harcourts Gallery, "Panorama of San Francisco" is dedicated to the city. The Institute for Scientific Information commissions Granizo to create murals for their building in Philadelphia. 1981 The Santa Cruz Civic Center opens an exhibition of Granizo's large ceramic paintings on the occasion of the installation of his murals. 1982 The "San Carlos" mural is installed at Mission Dolores in San Francisco. 1983 More murals are commissioned and exhibited at the Milwaukee Cancer Clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Kimball art center exhibits in Park City, Utah 1984 The Monterrey mural is unveiled at the Monterrey Conference Center and the "Olympic Fantasy" is unveiled at California State University, Los Angeles. "Sausalito" is commissioned for the annual Art Festival. 1985 The LaSalle Bank in Chicago commissions a mural, "Panorama of Chicago": "Salinas Field Workers", Salinas, Ca. Animal Fun at the Torrance Community Hospital. The "Last supper and "Special Family" at Delancy Street, New Mexico. "Circle of Women" and "Tower of Babel" "Redwoods Market" Ben Lomond, Ca. (Private Collection). 1986 "Fairbanks" for Pearl Creek School, Fairbanks, Alaska. Exhibits at Park City Festival, Utah "Ecumenical Garden" private residence, Tyler, Tx. 1987 "Mermaids" Sergio Lub Inc., Walnut Creek, Ca "Grape Harvest" Rancho Cymas Inn, Napa, Ca. " "Benicia" Camel Barn Museum, "History of Benicia" thirty sidewalk plaques on First St., "Benicia War Memorial" Benicia Ca. (Veteran's Hall) 1988 Joint Venture Dunn Vineyards, Granizo and Frisk Art Studio, Artist Series wine bottles. "Jungle Fantasy" Shriner's Hospital, San Francisco "Jungle Fun" Oakland's Children's Hospital 1989 "Lighthouse Fantasy" El Faro Restaurant, San Francisco "Homage to Jose Luis Cuevas" the new National Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. "Columbus" Lisbon Airport, Portugal "Musical Teens" and "Lathrop Hi" Fairbanks, Alaska 1990 "Daughters of Oceanids" Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium San Francisco. "Campo del Cello" residence Carmel, Ca. "A View from Marin" residence Tiburon, Ca. " Our Lady of Carmel" Church, Fairfield, Ca. 1991 "Mermaids" fountain, Malibu, Ca. " From Clay to Cities" San Jose, Ca. "Hiroshima" Twentieth Century Museum of Modern Art, Laguna Beach, Ca. 1992 "Skyline Embraced by Landmarks", Chicago, Ill. "Rainbow Children" Clarendon School, Portland, Or. "Breaktime", Fairbanks Al. "Penguin Colony" Private residence, Fairfield, Ca. Water in Scripture", altar for Seventh Day Adventist Church, Pacific Grove, Ca. "Jungle in Bloom" private residence Pebble Beach,Ca. "Homage to Children" Tulancingo, Mexico 1993 "Solano" Vacaville Museum, Ca. "Fish" and " Bay City" murals in Benicia, Ca. "Heartland" American Heart Association, Irvine Ca. "Alameda"" Hayward Ca. "Anza" Arispe, Mexico 1994 Twenty-nine historical ceramic paintings Vacaville Civic Center, Ca. "Three Monoliths for Centennial Park, Pleasanton, Ca. Exhibit of Water Scenes at the Vacaville Museum, Vacaville, Ca. 1995 Guillermo Wagner Granizo passes in Benicia Ca. on November 9th.