Born in 1945 in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Charles Munch briefly studied art at the Portland (Oregon) Museum School, (1966) and at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture (1967). He graduated, as a fine arts major, from Reed College in Portland, Oregon (Phi Beta Kappa, 1968). After graduation, he apprenticed himself to a paintings conservator in New York City, whom he worked for until 1970. He traveled throughout the USA and Europe for two years, visiting museums to study paintings before settling in Wisconsin and beginning a career as a free-lance paintings conservator, from which he retired in 2009.
Munch has been actively painting and exhibiting since moving to Wisconsin in 1971. He has had more than 25 one-person exhibitions at galleries and museums, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Chicago Cultural Center. His work has been purchased by the two Wisconsin museums mentioned above, as well as by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and by many other corporate and private collectors. An in-depth discussion of his life and work can be found in Charles Munch, Dreaming in Color, Paintings 1971-2006, distributed by the University of Wisconsin Press (and available for sale at the James Watrous Gallery).