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Seymour Thomas: A Texas Genius Rediscovered
February 12 - July 31, 2005
Visitors to the Witte Museum will be able to revisit the lifework of internationally renowned artist Seymour Thomas through an exhibit of his paintings, sketches, and photographs through July 31, 2005.
Stephen Seymour Thomas was born in 1868 in San Augustine, a small town along the El Camino Real in East Texas. He showed artistic talent at a very early age and was constantly drawing and painting. The family moved to San Antonio in 1884 and Thomas soon attended St. Mary's College where he studied with Theodore Gentilz, one of Texas' most distinguished 19th century artists. He also became friends with Robert Onderdonk, another local artist who became Thomas' mentor. (left: Stephen Seymour Thomas, Self Portrait, 1906, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Ezekiel Cullen Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Cullen House, San Augustine, Texas)
It was during this time that his acclaimed paintings of the views of Mission Concepción and Mission San José were created. In his late teens, Thomas began studies at the Art Students League in New York and continued his training in Paris, France. He lived in Paris and New York, spending most of his time in painting the portraits for which he would become famous. He returned to the United States just before World War I and settled in California.
Thomas' works depict the people and places he encountered during his extensive travels. His highly sought after works of art continue to hang in private homes, museums, and galleries around the world. Thomas' portraits of Woodrow Wilson are still displayed in the White House and his commissioned portrait of General Sam Houston is on display at the San Jacinto Museum.
This exhibit will coincide with the publication of Stephen
Seymour Thomas (1868-1956): A Texas Genius Rediscovered by Witte Museum
Curator Emeritus, Cecilia Steinfeldt. A symposium and book signing was held
February 25, 2005 at the Museum.
The following quote is from a Handbook of Texas Online article on Seymour Thomas by Jean Haskell:
A page describing the early visual arts in Texas the Red River Authority web site Rod Tyler says:
A page from the Edan Milton Hughes web site adds:
The La Crescenta Woman's Club has information on the Thomases while members of that California city. The Club may be contacted at P.O. Box 8494, La Crescenta, CA. 91214. (right: Stephen Seymour Thomas, San José Mission, 1884, oil on canvas. Collection of the Summerlee Foundation, Dallas. Bequest of Summerfield Griffith Roberts and Annie Lee Warren Roberts)
(above: Stephen Seymour Thomas, Mulberry and White, 1948, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas. Gift of the Artist)
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