Merritt Mauzey

Merritt Thomas Mauzey

          Born in Clifton, Texas, Mauzey was raised on a cotton farm in Oak Creek Valley, Nolan County, where he absorbed firsthand the planting, nurturing, and harvesting of that important southern crop. He was married in 1918 and two years later acquired his own cotton farm. Unfortunately, it did not prove to be a success, and Mauzey was forced to sell his land and move to Sweetwater, where he worked as a clerk for a cotton company.

          In 1927 he moved with his family to Dallas and took a position with J. Kahn and Company, a cotton exporter. At the same time he rekindled an old interest in art and began formal study with Frank Klepper at the Dallas Art Institute. His artistic debut was the exhibition of two works at the Texas Centennial. In the same period, he began a series of works based on his knowledge of the cotton industry.

          Mauzey was one of the charter members of the Lone Star Printmakers, and by 1940 he had become one of the first artists in the area to own a lithographic press, teaching himself printing. Shortly after this he taught lithography at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and began exhibiting much more widely, winning several awards. Carl Zigrosser, one of the most well-known historians of American printmaking, became an early admirer of Mauzey's work and encouraged his advancement.


          In 1946 Mauzey was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, the first Texas artist to be so honored. He used it to create a series of lithographs about Texas, which he executed with the cooperation of master printers Lawrence Barrett in Colorado Springs and George Miller in Woodstock and New York. In 1955 he wrote and illustrated two books for children, Cotton Farm Boy and Texas Ranch Boy. Two years later, he created Oilfield Boy as a continuation of the series, and three more books followed, gaining the artist wide recognition. After his retirement in 1962, Mauzey became an active supporter of the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, which possesses a large collection of his work.

     Source: Lone Star Regionalism: The Dallas Nine and Their Circle, 1928 - 1945 by Rick Stewart, Texas Monthly Press and the Dallas Museum of Art, 1985, pp. 177 & 178.

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