Manuel Gregorio Acosta

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Manuel Gregorio Acosta
Born (1921-05-09)May 9, 1921
Aldama, Mexico
Died (1989-10-25)October 25, 1989
El Paso, Texas
Nationality American, Mexican
Education Peter Hurd, Urbici Soler
Alma mater University of Texas at El Paso
Known for Painting, sculpture, illustration
Movement Chicano

Manuel Gregorio Acosta (May 5, 1921–October 20, 1989) was a Mexican-born American painter and illustrator who was born into an impoverished family in Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico, on May 9, 1921. His father, Ramón P. Acosta, had fought in the Mexican Revolution with Pancho Villa, and the Mexican Revolution was a recurring theme in Manuel's paintings.The family moved to El Paso, Texas. He always seemed interested in drawings so as practice he would mock pictures of newspapers and later started drawing pin up girls.[1]

Manuel Acosta served in the United States Air Force during World War II, during which time he continued practicing his artwork, and became an American citizen shortly after discharge.[2] TSHA[further explanation needed] clarifies that he officially decided to draw when he observed Fransisico de Goya's Masterpiece in europe. In the fall of 1946 he attended the College of Mines and Metallurgy (now the University of Texas at El Paso), where he studied drawing and sculpture under sculptor Urbici Soler (1890–1953). He started to sketch people and views from el Paso's Barrios in a realistic style enlivened by lysin colors and he would also add dramatic scenes in a chiaroscuro.[3] He was also very into painting scenes of children as well as bullfighters.In 1952 he became an apprentice to painter Peter Hurd on a mural project about pioneer Texas located at the West Texas Museum in Lubbock. He spent a year at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and six months at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before establishing his home and studio in El Paso, Texas. Acosta was later[when?] recognized with an award for recognizing him as one of the most talented Mexican American painters during the Chicano movement.[4] Acosta later decided to move to his studio home in order to make his way for a new highway. Because of this, he later built a large stucco and adobe studio at his new home at 366 Buena Vista.[citation needed]

He was bludgeoned with a lead pipe and murdered on October 25, 1989 by a drunken Mexican national and is buried in the United States at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.[5]

Public Collections[edit]

Portrait of labor leader César Chávez by 'Manuel Gregorio Acosta', 1969


  1. ^ "Manuel Acosta - Artist and Art Publications - Manuel Acosta".
  3. ^ "Manuel Acosta - Artist and Art Publications - Manuel Acosta".
  4. ^ "Manuel Acosta - Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Manuel Acosta".
  5. ^ "Manuel Acosta - Artist and Art Publications - Manuel Acosta".