Biografie von Ralston CRAWFORD (1906-1978)

Birth place: Saint Catherine's, Ontario, Canada

Death place: New Orleans, LA or Houston, TX

Addresses: NYC

Profession: Painter, illustrator, lithographer, teacher, lecturer, photographer

Studied: Otis Art Inst, Los Angeles, 1927; PAFA, with Henry Breckenridge & Henry McCarter, 1927-30; Barnes Found, 1928-30; Acad Colarossi & Acad Scandinave, Paris, 1932-33; Columbia Univ, 1933.

Exhibited: Wilmington Soc. FA, 1933 (prize); S.Indp.A., 1934-38; Corcoran Gal, 1935-59; MMA, 1942 (purchase prize); WMAA,1937-76, (retrospective, 1980s); AIC; CM; PMG; PAFA; Albright A. Gal.; Pal. Leg. Honor; Dallas Mus. FA; Denver A. Mus.; Cornell; Lafayette Col.; Univ. Ind.; WFNY, 1939; GGE, 1939; Rochester Mem. A. Gal.; Santa Barbara Mus. A.; PAFA, 1944-64; de Young Mem. Mus.; SAM; Portland (Oreg.) Mus; Retrospective Exhibs, Univ Ill, 1966 & Creighton Univ, Omaha, Nebr, 1968; Hirschl & Adler Gal., NYC (prints) 1985; 1987 traveling retrospective to Phillips Collection, Portland AM, Akron AM, Grand Rapids AM. Awards: Tiffany Found Award, 1931; Tamarind fellow, 1966

Work: MMA; Munson-Williams-Proctor Inst; WMAA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery; PMG; Encyclopedia Britannica Coll.; LOC; Mus Fine Arts Houston; Flint Inst. A.; Cincinnati AM; LOC; Newark (NJ) Mus.; SFMA; Toledo (OH) Mus. A.

Comments: Came to U. S. in 1910, and grew up in Buffalo, NY. From 1934 to the early 1940s, Crawford achieved critical acclaim for his Precisionist interpretations of tanks, bridges, silos, barns, and other structures of the American industrial landscape. During WWII, he worked with the weather division of the military, preparing weather charts for pilots. He was commissioned in 1945 to paint the lighting system at the Curtis Wright aircraft plant in Buffalo. In 1951-52 he traveled abroad, working in lithography while in Paris. His prints of this period interpret Spanish bullfights and the war ruins of Cologne. His most important series of paintings (1951-61) drew their inspiration from the St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans. Teaching: Lectr mod art, instr, Cincinnati Art Acad, 1940; instr, Buffalo Sch Fine Arts, 1941-1942; guest dir, Honolulu Sch Art, 1947; instr, Art Sch Brooklyn Mus, 1948; instr, Cincinnati Art Acad, 1949, Univ Minn, 1949, La State Univ, 1950, Univ Colo, 1952, New Sch Social Res, 1952-1957, Univ Colo, 1958, Univ Southern Calif, 1960, Univ Ky High Sch Wk, 1960, Hofstra Col, 1960-1962 & Univ Minn, 1961; Ford Found & Am Fedn Arts vis artist, Sheldon Art Gallery, Univ Nebr, 1965; vis artist, Univ Ill, 1966. Other positions: Walt Disney Studios, 1927; Res consult, New Orleans Jazz Arch, Tulane Univ, 1945; art observer, Bikini Atom Bomb Test, 1946. Publications: Illus, Stars: their facts and legends, 1940; illus, covers & articles in: Fortune Mag, 1944-1946; contribr, Le Figaro, Brit Jazz J, Le Jazz Hot & others.

Sources: WW73; WW47; Barbara Rose, Ralston Crawford, exh. cat. (Helman Gallery, St. Louis, Mo., 1971); Baigell, Dictionary; Krane, The Wayward Muse, 187; Anthony R. White, Burlingame, Ca., gives place of death as Houston, TX

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