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 John (Jack) Bruce Erwin  (1920 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: Texas/Louisiana      Known for: rural landscape and military subject painting

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Ad Code: 3
John Bruce Erwin
from Auction House Records.
Country Stores, Britton, TX, May 1976
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jack Erwin, born in Jacksboro, Texas, became a landscape painter based in Dallas.  He began his exhibition career at the Texas General Exhibition in 1941.  Paintings that he did while serving in the Pacific in W.W.II have recently been designated as a National Treasure by the US Government.

Jack painted with Reveau Bassett for many years, and Bassett's influence can be seen in his work.

Biography from Russell Tether Fine Art:
Jack Erwin was an architect, violin maker and artist.  He was a native of Jacksboro, TX and was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture in 1941.  He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict serving in the U.S. Navy.  He was a past commander of the Dallas Commandery No.6 Knights Templar in Dallas, TX.  He was the architect for the Jack County Hospital in Jacksboro, TX, the Congregation Tiferet Israel Building in Dallas, TX and also the educational building, fellowship hall and Chapel of Silence of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX.
He was a violin maker and entered instruments in the Wieniawski International Violin Making Competitions in Poland.  He is listed in Henley's Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers.  Recently, one of his violins was given to Mariusz Patyra as a prize for being the winner of the 2001 Paganini Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy.  He was a member of the Violin Makers Society of America. After moving to Natchitoches, Jack became and remained an active supporter of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. His legacy endures through his instruments. His elder son, daughter and the 2008-09 concertmaster of the NNSO play on Erwin violins.
Jack was also a member of the Watercolor Society of America.  His watercolor paintings during WWII were selected by the National Trust for Historical Preservation in 2000 as an Official Project of "Save America's Treasures."  These works now reside with the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum. Jack Erwin is listed in Paula and Michael Grauer's Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800-1945.
It was Jack's neighbor, Reveau Bassett, who convinced him to begin painting in oils. Jack and Reveau became lifelong friends and shared many a painting trip together. While Jack Erwin had numerous art shows throughout the nation, Dallas Texas was his home. Jack recorded the history and events of Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding cities with his beautiful paintings. Jack's scenic, plein air paintings of the life and landscape in Texas were exhibited throughout the state, including the Dallas Art Museum, Dallas Public Library, and in 2007 his paintings and instruments were shown as "True Texas Art" at Tarleton State University's Dora Lee Langdon Cultural and Educational Center in Granbury, TX.
Jack and his wife Ella moved to Natchitoches, L.A. in 2007 to be closer to their family.  The Orville Hanchey Art Gallery at NSU hosted two solo exhibitions of Jack's work, one in 1989 and the other in 2008.

Jack died Thursday, January 22, 2009, at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in Natchitoches, LA. He was 88 years old.
A comprehensive biography on Jack Erwin, compiled by Bill Cheek and Dr. William Reaves, can be found in The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, Volume 4, 2007-2008.

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