Art Museum of Southeast Texas

Beaumont, TX



Morris Graves: Early Paintings 1932-1938

July 30 through October 31, 1999


At age 88, Morris Graves, who currently lives in the Pacific Northwest, is recognized as one of America' s most highly regarded painters of American Art. Morris Graves: Early Paintings 1932-1938, will offer an exciting opportunity to examine the early development of this renowned 20th century Visionary painter. The exhibition is comprised of 24 paintings, the majority of which were painted in the 1930's.


From left to right: Hooded Falcon with Urn, 1932, oil on canvas, 30 x 27 1/2 inches; Water Birds, 1933, oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 36 inches; Washington State Farm Horse, 1933-34, oil on canvas, 33 x 40 inches; Wounded Brandt, 1933, oil on canvas, 30 x 35 inches


Morris Graves has painted with strong spiritual emphasis throughout his long and productive career of over sixty years. Animals, but birds in particular, were an early focus for the artist. He painted them in exotic and affectionate circumstances such as the lush "Brazilian Screamers" or the charming domesticated gosling, "Minnie." As a self-taught artist, Graves' early works are highly original, bold and direct with thick and expressive paint application. Symbolic and emotional links in the early work form an important link to the metaphysical quality of later works.


From left to right: Memorial Day WildFlower Bouquet, 1936, oil on canvas, 39 x 35 inches; Spring Calf with Plow, 1938-39, oil on canvas, 43 x 38 inches; Abandoned WWI Fortification, Whidbey Island, WA, 1930s, Seattle Sidewalk Drinking Fountain, 1930s, oil on canvas, 42 1/2 x 37 inches; Sidewalk Drinking Fountain, 1936, oil on canvas, 2 3/4 x 18 7/8 inches.


Interestingly, Graves has special ties to Beaumont. He finished high school there in 1932, leaving a lasting impression on the community. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas compliments this exhibition with works by Morris Graves from the permanent collection in the West Hall Gallery. This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington.

This project is funded in part by the Steinhagen Foundation, the City of Beaumont, the Texas Commission on the Arts through the Southeast Texas Arts Council, First Bank and Trust, Dr. Richard Shorkey, Mrs. Hallie Hargrove and Mrs. Sue Boyt.

Read more about the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Resource Library Magazine

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Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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