Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 23rd.
Attends Hiram College, Ohio.
Attends the university of Cincinnati, Ohio to gain a BA in Psychology.
Drafted into the US army to take part in Korean War and starts sketching cartoons.
Attends the Art Academy of Cincinnati. His cartoons are printed in 1000 Jokes, True and The New Yorker.
Moves to New York with his first wife Dot Irisis. Studies under Nicolas Marsicano at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York. A powerful influence for him was Willem de Kooning.
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York opens. Wesselmann meets Claire Selley, a university student who goes on to become his model and wife.
Turns to experimenting with small, abstract collages. He was a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He had planned to become a cartoonist until his final year at the Cooper Union. His first group show at the Judson Gallery.
Changes to painting objects and landscapes. Starts teaching at a school in Brooklyn.
First one-man exhibition at the Tanager Gallery, New York. He made small collages of torn paper and found materials in his Little Great American Nudes of 1961-2, which culminated in large, aggressive compositions such as Great American Nude //3 (1961). These and his giant still-lifes composed of common household objects bought him fame and notoriety as a founder of American Pop Art. His Great American Nudes remain his best-known work.
Participated in the exhibition "The Figure" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Participates in “New Realists” with some reservation, at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York. Begins working on his still lifes, keeping use of collage and adding in real objects.
Marries Claire Selley. Included in Pop Goes the East at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.
Young America 1965 exhibition at the Whitney Museum, New York.
He was represented at the São Paulo Biennale, and at the documenta "4" and "6", Kassel, in 1968 and 1977 respectively. His significant involvement with the Pop Art movement was acknowledged with his inclusion, in 1974 in the exhibition "American Pop Art", at the Whitney Museum, New York.
His 1970’s era series known as Smokers focused on the female nude with enormous cut out details of red lips, manicured fingernails and cigarettes. He developed a reputation for favouring more of a commercial look, removing any sign of the painter’s hand.
He began work in aluminium and enamel, adapting the clear lines of his earlier paintings. He writes an autobiography Tom Wesselmann under the pseudonym Slim Stealingworth. His son Lane was born.
Makes his first work in metal, leading to a series in steel and aluminium.
An important retrospective of his work toured Japan beginning at the museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo.
December 20h Tom Wesselmann died of heart disease. At the time of his death he was working on nudes in the Abstract Expressionist style. Survived by Claire, his daughter, Kate and Jenny and his son, Lane.