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Olive Vandruff: 100 at 100

April 12 - June 15, 2008

 

In honor of what would have been her 100th birth year, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum exhibits works from Vandruff's personal collection in several media including pastel, watercolor, casein, and oil. Vandruff became a renowned painter of animals and birds and often was commissioned to paint horse portraits. In 1961, Vandruff married H.D. Bugbee and succeeded him as curator of art at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum from 1962 to 1982.

 

Wall text from the exhibition

 

Born at Martin's Ferry, Ohio, as a child Vandruff (1908-2003) traveled the Southwestern United States with her geologist father. She studied with painter Edmund Giesbert at the University of Chicago and with Chicago sculptors Elisabeth H. Hibbard and Frederick C. Hibbard, becoming their assistant. Vandruff moved to San Antonio in 1931 to assist sculptor Pompeo Coppini. About 1937 she married engraver Charles F. Anderson; they later divorced. Vandruff married psychologist William Zielonka in 1944 and they moved to Florida; they later divorced. In 1950 she operated a sheep ranch near Kerrville, Texas. She met Western artist H. D. Bugbee in San Antonio in 1960, married him in 1961, and relocated to Clarendon, Texas. After Bugbee's death in 1963, Vandruff succeeded him as curator of art at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, retiring in 1982. She continued to volunteer at the Museum, driving the 150-mile round trip from Clarendon nearly every day. A car accident on the way home from the Museum eventually caused her death at age 94.

Vandruff worked in several media, including pastel, gouache, watercolor, casein, graphite, ink, and oil. She was a member of the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, in San Antonio, and began exhibiting there in the early 1930s. While living in the Hill Country she became a renowned painter of animals and birds, and often painted commissioned portraits of livestock and pets. By the early 1960s, she had had numerous solo exhibitions and there was a waiting list for her work. Vandruff's paintings are found in private collections across the United States. Among her patrons were former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Texas governors John Connally and Dolph Briscoe, and Senator John Tower. Her public commissions include murals in Texas and Oklahoma, including a mural of Palo Duro Canyon for the First National Bank of Amarillo (now Bank of America). In 1976, she was included in the landmark California exhibition, "The Woman Artist in the American West, 1860-1960." Vandruff continued to paint until her death. The works of art presented here are a testament to her skills with different subjects and in different media.

 

Object labels for the exhibition

 

YOUNG BARBARY SHEEP early 1930s
 
Charcoal and chalk
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [BABY] circa 1930s
 
Crayon on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
HOWDY FOLKS! 1939
 
Ink and gouache on pulp paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [ORCHIDS] circa 1940
 
Pastel on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT 1941
 
Ink on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS] 1940s
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
SQUIRREL & FERN 1944
 
Watercolor on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [GREEN HERON] circa 1944
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [SPANIEL] circa 1944
 
Charcoal and chalk on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
CAMILLIAS 1945
 
Pastel on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [WOMAN'S PORTRAIT] circa 1945
 
Watercolor on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
UNTITLED [ARCHWAY] circa 1945
 
Watercolor on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [KINGFISHER] circa 1945
 
Pastel on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [YOUNG GIRL IN STORM] circa 1945
 
Pastel on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Possibly a commentary on World War II, this painting may be one of few examples of Social Realism in the artist's body of work.
 
 
UNTITLED [WOODCOCK] 1946
 
Pastel on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
BAIT STORE 1947
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
This painting may be based on a San Antonio scene.
 
 
RESTING ON THE WIND 1947
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
BETWEEN MEALS SNACK circa 1950
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [HANGING LAUNDRY] circa 1951
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
A SHOWER JUST PAST 1952
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
FAIRVIEW PRIDE 1953
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Quarter horse Fairview Pride was four years old when Vandruff painted his portrait. His sire was King and his dam Dipsydoodle Joe.
 
 
QUIET, DEER 1958
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Gift of the Artist
 
 
SYCAMORE AND TURKEYS 1959
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Johnie Griffin Collection
 
 
THE EVENING DRIFT 1959
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Gift of the Artist
 
 
TURBAN SQUASH 1960
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
PROUD GOBBLER AND HEN (WILD GOBBLER AND HEN) 1960
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Gift of M. K. Brown
 
 
WILLOWS AT YOUNG-HUNTER'S circa 1960
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Painted during a visit to the home of Taos artist John Young-Hunter.
 
 
TURKEY ON THE ROCKS 1961
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Given to H. D. Bugbee on Valentine's Day.
 
 
SPANISH OAK LOG before 1965
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Gift of Guy Carlander
 
 
FIRST SALT 1966
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Private Collection
 
 
MacKENZIE BATTLE GROUND 1967
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Collection of Dr. Kenneth Crossland
 
 
PINK WORLD 1968
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
WATER SONG 1968
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
ROADRUNNER IN UTAH 1969
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
The artist called this painting a "self portrait" as she always liked to travel.
 
 
BABY BLUEBIRDS 1970
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
DEVIL'S SLIDE 1970
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Private Collection
 
 
ROPE, WREATH, & BOOTS 1970
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
CLOUD SHADOWS ON GRAND MESA 1971
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
SINGING WATERS 1971
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
STAR & WINDMILL 1971
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
STREAMSIDE ACTIVITIES 1971
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
A VULNERABLE PERCH 1973
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
BRIGHT CLIFF 1973
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
C. H. SHALLER HOME, CANADIAN, TEXAS -1910 1973
 
Graphite on paper
 
Private Collection
 
 
QUIET RIPPLES 1973
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
SUNDOWN & OIL DERRICKS 1976
 
Oil on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
The artist painted this as a tribute to her father, one of the earliest deep-well drillers in the United States.
 
 
PALO DURO CANYON before 1980
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Gift of the Artist
 
Vandruff prepared this composition for large mural commissioned by First National Bank of Amarillo (now Bank of America).
 
 
HEADQUARTERS IS OUT THERE 1980
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
GRAZING ABOVE THE RIO GRANDE 1981
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
MULE DEER 1981
 
Oil on Masonite
 
Collection of Dr. Kenneth Crossland
 
 
RATON PASS, A GATEWAY TO THE WEST 1981
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
BLUE QUAIL ON DRIFTWOOD n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Collection of Dr. Kenneth Crossland
 
 
CHRISTMAS TREE TOWN n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
LULA DOUGLAS HAZLEWOOD n.d.
 
Oil on canvas
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Museum Acquisition
 
 
REVEREND C. W. ALEXANDER n.d.
 
Oil on canvas
 
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,
Museum Acquisition
 
 
SPRING IN THE SPANISH OAKS n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Collection of Dr. Kenneth Crossland
 
 
UNTITLED [BOBWHITES DRINKING] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [BOBWHITE QUAIL] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [CLOUDBURST & RIVER] n.d.
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [COTTONTAILS] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [DOLL AND KITTENS] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [GEESE OVER MARSH] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [HILL COUNTRY HOUSES] n.d.
 
Gouache on board
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [SPARROWS, WOOD ROSES, AND YUCCA]n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [THREE GOBBLERS IN HILL COUNTRY] n.d.
 
Gouache on artboard
 
Private Collection
 
 
UNTITLED [FAWN] n.d.
 
Linoleum block mounted on plywood
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [DUCK ON ROCK] n.d.
 
Oil on canvas
 
Private Collection
 
For delivering a frame to her, Vandruff gave this painting to the owner.
 
 
UNTITLED [FAWN] n.d.
 
Linoleum cut
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [INDIAN AND LLAMA] n.d.
 
Glazed ceramic
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [DUCK] n.d.
 
Glazed ceramic
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
MEDUSA circa 1945
 
Glazed ceramic
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Vandruff made this piece during a ceramics class and based it on the instructor whom she found unpleasant.
 
 
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD n.d.
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
INCA DOVES 1969
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
MacKENZIE BATTLE GROUND n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
The artist hung this painting over the mantel at Bugbee Ranch.
 
 
UNTITLED [FARM] circa 1945
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
SELF PORTRAIT circa 1944
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
PHEASANT IN THE SNOW 1970
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Courtesy The Saints' Roost Museum,
Clarendon, Texas
 
 
UNTITLED [BOBWHITE ON WAGON HUB] 1976
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Private Collection
 
 
Bob Crosby World Champion Cowboy, written by Thelma Crosby and Eve Ball with illustrations by Olive Vandruff Bugbee (1966).
 
 
Texas Grasses, written by W. A. Silveus with illustrations by Olive Vandruff (1933).
 
 
ANTELOPE HILLS 1971
 
Ink on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Reproduced on the cover of the 1971 Panhandle-Plains Historical Review.
 
 
REMAINS OF SLAUGHTER RANCH 1987
 
Ink on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Reproduced on the cover of the 1987 Panhandle-Plains Historical Review.
 
 
COVER FOR A MOUSE 1966
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
KERR COUNTY CENTENNIAL PLATE & CUP 1956
 
Glazed ceramic
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
OLD WOOD 1973
 
Oil on canvas
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [PORTRAIT OF MAN IN CAP] early 1940s
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Painted for a portrait class at the University of Chicago.
 
 
SKETCH OF JIM WARD 1970
 
Oil on canvas paper
 
Collection of Jim and Jackie Ward
 
Painted in the studio of Don Ray at Canyon.
 
 
JANUUARY IN THE FRIO 1955
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
ROAD SIGN TO LEFT 1952
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
LIVEOAK HILL 1969
 
Acrylic on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [TAOS MOUNTAIN] n.d.
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [QUAIL IN SAGEBRUSH] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
This unfinished painting shows Vandruff's method of blocking in the shapes of birds.
 
 
UNTITLED [WHEAT SHOCKS IN FIELD] circa 1940
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [PALO DURO COTTONWOODS] n.d.
 
Casein on Masonite
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
The artist probably intended to paint animals or birds in the foreground of this mostly-finished painting.
 
 
SELF PITY circa 1944
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
In 1944 Vandruff married psychologist William Zielonka and moved to Florida. Psychology fascinated the artist and she spoke of it often.
 
 
UNTITLED [HILL COUNTRY RANCH] circa 1950
 
Oil on canvasboard
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [HILL COUNTRY] circa 1950
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [BALD CYPRESS & STREAM] circa 1950
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
WILLOWS ON TURTLE CREEK circa 1950
 
Gouache on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
UNTITLED [KERR COUNTY SCENE] circa 1956
 
Ink on paper
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
 
VANDRUFF'S PAINTING KIT
 
Grumbacher box; Shiva casein paints; brushes & palette knives by various makers
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
Vandruff had several painting kits in different media, most in Grumbacher boxes of different sizes. Note the wear on the brushes and her "recycling" of other containers.
 
 
SKETCHES AND SKETCHBOOKS 1940-1980
 
Various media, including oil, watercolor, pencil, ink wash, and casein
 
Olive Vandruff Bugbee Estate
 
These sketches and sketchbooks reveal the artist's versatility in different media and her sense of humor.

 

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