Art with Purpose: The Works of E.W. Deming

A “painter of Indians" examined.

"Moose Hunt" by Edwin Willard Deming. Image courtesy Gilcrease Museum.

“Moose Hunt” by Edwin Willard Deming. Image courtesy Gilcrease Museum.

Opens Sunday, July 27

A brief New York Times article published in May 1914 tells of a small exhibition in the home of “Mrs. Harriman” and describes paintings and portraits of everything from wildlife subjects (a family of bears) to history’s highlights (Lewis & Clark’s encounters). “In the more realistic paintings,” it states, “Mr. Deming misses vitality.” That perceived absence of life will not be so evident for viewers of Gilcrease Museum’s next exhibit, Art with Purpose: The Works of E.W. Deming, opening Sunday, July 27. Edwin Willard Deming was a young boy when he set out to become a “painter of Indians,” and in his long career, he made it his mission to capture the culture, spirituality and ordinary lives of American Indians during his lifetime (1860-1942). About 30 paintings pulled from the museum’s permanent collection make up this show that demonstrates Deming’s goal to broaden public perception of the diversity and depth of native cultures. The exhibit will continue through Oct. 12. For more, see www.gilcrease.utulsa.edu.

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