Rockwell Museum of Western Art
111 Cedar St., Corning, NY 14830 607-937-5386
 
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Plains Indian shirt, c. 1880, buckskin, glass beads, red trade cloth, Museum purchase.  78.104.7 FAlfred Jacob Miller, Crow Indian on Horseback, 1844, oil on canvas, Bequeathed by Clara S. Peck.  83.46.17 FWilliam R. Leigh, The Buffalo Hunt, 1947, oil on canvas,  Rockwell Foundation purchase.  78.37 FAcoma Polychrome Vessel, c. 1920 - 1930, ceramic, Museum purchase.  90.3 F
 
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James Morgan


James Morgan (b. 1947)
 

James Morgan, Sharing Sundown, 2010, oil on linen, 20 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

 James Morgan, Sharing Sundown, 2010, oil on linen, 20 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
 

James Morgan, Whiskey Creek Woodies, 2006, oil on linen, 12 x 18 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

 James Morgan, Whiskey Creek Woodies, 2006, oil on linen, 12 x 18 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
 

James Morgan, High Desert Wind, 2009, oil on linen, 30 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

 James Morgan, High Desert Wind, 2009, oil on linen, 30 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
 
James MorganFor James Morgan, success as a wildlife artist begins with a keen sense of observation. He says the ability to clearly and honestly see the natural world around us is the key to being able to depict that world in all of its beauty and complexity. Morgan has developed his own ability to keenly observe the world around him from when he was a boy in central Utah. He spent many hours hunting and fishing in the mountains and valleys around his home and he also developed an early interest in art. At one point, since there were no available resources for formal artistic training in his hometown, he and some of his friends pooled their resources to hire their own art teacher.

He graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree, during a time when Abstract Expressionism was the predominant artistic movement in America. Morgan, who had a greater interest in realism and representational art, largely had to develop his skills in those areas on his own, through practice and studying the works of earlier artists. Today his work has evolved into a more impressionistic blending of precisely rendered animals in balance with their natural surroundings. Morgan's paintings effectively use light, tone and shadow to give the viewer a sense of a particular time and place. He often depicts animals in quiet moments in harmony with their surroundings. Just as in nature, the colors of his animals often blend with the background colors of the landscape or setting. By doing so, Morgan in effect prods the viewer to enhance his or her own observational skills. At first glance, the nuances of the animal and the details of the surroundings can be missed, but further study reveals the many subtle variations in color and shading that abound in nature.

Today, Morgan lives in northern Utah, in an area that affords him ample opportunity to continue his study of the natural environment. He believes the natural world provides a perpetual source of inspiration for his art. Recognized by critics and collectors alike as one of the leading wildlife artists in the country, Morgan regularly participates in some of the nation's most prestigious museum sales and exhibitions such as the "Prix de West" at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City; the "Masters of the American West" at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles; and the "Quest for the West" at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.

 

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