Everett Spruce

     Everett Franklin Spruce (1908-2002) was born on a farm in Conway, AR. He moved to Dallas on a scholarship to study at the Dallas Art Institute, under Olin Travis and Thomas M. Stell Jr. In 1931, he became gallery assistant at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and in 1934 married Alice V. Kramer, a fellow art student. He was one of the "Dallas Nine" group of Southwest artists. By the time he joined the art faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 1940, he had achieved national recognition, and his work has been chosen for inclusion in major national juried exhibitions. 

     He was widely recognized as one of the earliest regional visual artist to have embraced modernism. He was a member of the Dallas Nice and contributed to developing that movement which were influenced by the Mexican Masters such as Diego Rivera and American artist Thomas Hart Benton.

     He served as chairman of the Department of Art at the University of Texas at Austin 1949-51, became professor of art in 1954 and served as director of Graduate Studio Art 1961-74. He retired in 1974 as professor emeritus and was recognized as one of the outstanding painters in Texas.

     His work was exhibited nationally and internationally, including Texas Centennial Exhibition Dallas, Museum of Fine Arts, annual exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, annual exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute Chicago, exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, Carnegie Institute Pittsburg, "A Particular Portion of Earth" Pan American Union Washington, D.C. Spruce often worked in oils, creating textural modulations using thickness and intensity of knife and brush.

     Spruce used acrylics in manners similar to his oils and in some cases. used crayon over acrylics to enhance the richness of his colors. He used encaustic painting as well to produce vibrant colors and mosaic-like textures. Upon his retirement from the University of Texas, he was honored with a Retrospective Exhibit, Selected Paintings and Drawings, 1950 to 1979. In 1993, he was honored with an exhibition "Companions in Time: The paintings of William Lester and Everett Spruce" by Laguna Gloria Art Museum.

     Mr. Spruce won numerous prizes including Purchase Prize "Painting of the Year" Pepsi-Cola Competition, National Academy of Design New York, Scheidt Memorial Prize, 142nd annual exhibition Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, First Prize Exhibition of Modern American Paintings, Galerie Giroux Brussels and was chosen as the first artist to be represented in the Blaffer Series of Southwestern Art, published by the University of Texas Press. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant Retrospective Exhibition circulated by the American Federation of Arts, South, Midwest and West. 

     The work of Everett Spruce is highlighted in many publications including "Lone Star Regionalism, the Dallas Nine and Their Circle", by Rick Stewart published by Texas Monthly Press; "Pecos to Rio Grande, Interpretations of Far West Texas by Eighteen Artists", published by Texas A&M University Press; "The Texas Gulf Coast, Interpretations by Nine Artists", published by Texas A&M University Press and "Art for History's Sake, The Texas Collection of the Witte Museum" by Cecilia Steinfeldt published by the Texas State Historical Association. In addition, he was honored for his lasting contributions to the art world and for his exemplary work as an educator by a resolution bestowed by the Texas House of Representatives and signed by the then Gov. George W. Bush.

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