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 George Emmett Calvert  (1928 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma      Known for: landscape, pottery, sculpture, etching

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George Emmett Calvert
An example of work by George Emmett Calvert
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
George Emmett Calvert, landscape and marine painter and teacher, was born to George and Lecie (Hutchinson) Calvert on November 27, 1928 in Elk City, Oklahoma and died on Friday, March 1, 2002 in Weatherford, Oklahoma having reached the age of 73 years, 3 months and 4 days.

He was raised in the Herring community southwest of Hammon, Oklahoma and graduated Hammon High in 1947. Calvert received a bachelor's degree at Southwestern State Teachers College in Weatherford, Oklahoma and a Masters of Fine Art from University of Oklahoma. He taught oil and watercolor painting, etching, sculpture and pottery as a fine-art faculty member in Tahlequah, Oklahoma at Northeastern University where the Cherokee Nation is located with courts, museum, tribal council, etc. This university has had a strong art faculty dating back to the 1950s

He also taught at Southwestern University, and after retiring, he returned to teaching at Southwestern University and retired a second time.

Calvert enjoyed painting, traveling, and observing landscapes and people of Oklahoma. He often painted in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and once owned the Blue Dolphin Art Gallery in Aransas Pass, Texas. Governor Dewey L. Bartlett appointed George Calvert Oklahoma's first Ambassador of the Arts.

George's legacy is the vast number of artists that he mentored and who are now mentoring other artists. He brought to Oklahomans many opportunities to view and appreciate fine art and was a member of the Southwest Art Guild in Elk City, OK. His family and many friends will dearly miss him. Memorials celebrating his life were made to the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Art scholarship fund.

One aunt and uncle survived him; LaCreta Hutchinson Robinson and her husband, John Evert Robinson of Killian, Louisiana and several cousins. John Robinson; a nephew; was inspired by Mr. Calvert, is an artist working and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was preceded in death by his parents; George and Lecie (Hutchinson) Calvert.

Mr. Calvert was a good friend of Mr. Monte Hoke who mentored him in clay pottery.

Much of his life was spent teaching art at Southwestern, Northeastern State University, and the Kansas City Art Institute. He taught many classes across Oklahoma and in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Mr. Calvert loved portraying the world around him through his paintings. He once owned a gallery and had showings in Tulsa, Kansas City, Dallas, and Oklahoma City.

When Mr. Calvert passed away, his entire art estate of over 2000 pieces including clay pottery, sculpture, as well as oils, watercolors, and etchings were purchased by Pat and Jack Welch of Sallisaw, OK. Mrs. Welch was introduced to Mr. Calvert by her aunt and uncle in 1956 when they visited him at NSU in Tahlequah, OK where he was teaching. Mrs. Welch liked his work and started to collect his paintings. The Welch's became good friends of Mr. Calvert and kept in contact throughout his life.

After purchasing the estate, Pat and Jack Welch made significant donations of his art to numerous colleges, universities, high schools, museums, hospitals, and libraries across Oklahoma and Arkansas. Carl Albert State College in Poteau, OK; the University of Tulsa; Northeastern State University Tahlequah, OK; Sallisaw High School in Sallisaw, OK; the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, OK to name a few.

It was the intention of Mr. and Mrs. Welch that Mr. Calvert's artistic accomplishments would live on well after his death to be enjoyed by people across Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In the announcement of the donation of over 100 pieces of art to Carl Albert State College, Mr. Welch stated "we want as many people as possible to see his art and to learn to appreciate it. So we decided to donate it to schools and to art organizations where it will be permanently on display."

Mr. Calvert was buried in Red Hill Cemetery south of Hammon, Oklahoma.


Submitted October 2004 by a researcher at the Ashworth Collection of Native American and Western Art in Fort Smith, AR.


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