Carl Morris (painter)

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Carl Morris
Born1911 (1911)
Died1993 (1994) (aged 82)
OccupationAmerican painter
Morris' mural, "Agriculture" c. 1941, in the Eugene post office
Morris' mural, "Lumbering" c. 1941, in the Eugene post office

Carl A. Morris (May 12, 1911 – June 3, 1993)[1][2][3] was an American painter. Morris was born in Yorba Linda, California and he studied at the Chicago Art Institute and in Paris and Vienna.[1] He opened the Spokane Art Center through the Federal Art Project during the Great Depression. Morris met his wife, sculptor Hilda Grossman, when he recruited her as a teacher for the center. Moving to Seattle in 1940, they met Mark Tobey and became lifelong friends.

In 1941, he was commissioned to paint murals for the Eugene, Oregon post office. The Morrises settled in Portland, Oregon and established their artistic careers, beginning as figurative artists and gradually moving toward abstract art.[4] They often visited New York to see friends such as Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Joseph Campbell and Lionel Trilling but declined to relocate, wanting to avoid what they saw as a climate of commercialism and artistic distraction. Morris is known today for his strong Abstract Impressionist paintings.[5][6][7]

His work can be seen in collections throughout the U.S., including those of the Portland Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Reed College, the Boise Art Museum, the Denver Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[1] During his life, his work was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Seattle Art Museum.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Carl Morris biography
  2. ^ "Carl Morris". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "Carl Morris - Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Carl Morris". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Carl Morris, Paintings 1939–1992. Exhibition catalog. Essay by Barry Johnson. Portland: Portland Art Museum, 1993.
  5. ^ "A Regional Accent, Pacific Northwest," Henry J. Seldis, Art in America, volume 50, No. 1, 1962, NY, NY, pp. 74–76
  6. ^ "Contemporary Art in the Northwest," Lois Allan, Craftsman House, 1995, p. 156
  7. ^ Johnson, Barry, “Back in the Light,” The Oregonian, August 14, 2007, pp. C1, C4
  8. ^ NY Times, June 9, 1993

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