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Morris Graves

(1910-2001)

Aliases: Morris Garves, Morris Graves

Bird painter, Painter

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Biography

(b Fox Valley, Oregon 1910; d Loleta, California 2001). American painter. Morris Cole Graves is known for his expressionistic paintings of nature, especially for his Inner Eye series of depictions of birds. When he was seventeen, Graves abandoned his high school studies to pursue a brief stint as a sailor, traveling widely and as far as Japan. In his early twenties, Graves returned to the states to live with family in Texas who successfully persuaded him to return to high school and to receive his diploma. In 1933 Graves set up a studio in Seattle, and by 1942 had his first show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Graves was particularly influenced by Asian spiritual and religious traditions, especially Buddhism. There have been two major retrospectives of his work: at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1956; and at the Phillips Collection in 1984. In 1964 Graves turned his home in Loleta California into an artists’ retreat, titled the Morris Graves Foundation, which still exists today.

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Abstract Expressionism (54)