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 James Erwin Boren  (1921 - 1990)

About: James Erwin Boren
 

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma/Texas      Known for: frontier and cowboy genre painting, illustration, museum director

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BIOGRAPHY for James Boren
Facts/Data
Birth
1921 (Waxahatchie, Texas)
 
Death
1990

Lived/Active
Oklahoma/Texas

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frontier and cowboy genre painting, illustration, museum director

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A noted watercolor and oil painter of western scenes and member of the Cowboy Artists of America, James Boren was born in Waxahatchie, Texas, the son of a minister, and from 1971, he lived in Clifton, Texas.  Because of the influence of his father, he continued to regard himself as a religious person.

He knew as a teenager that he wanted to be an illustrator but his schooling at Southwestern College was interrupted by four years of military service in the Marines during World War II.  After the war in 1951, he earned his M.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute* and then taught for two years at St. Mary's College.

With his earnings, he traveled the Southwest and also painted in Alaska, and in 1956 moved to Denver where he worked as a concept illustrator for the Martin Company.  In 1959, he began selling cowboy paintings, and in 1964, he became the first Art Director of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.  He loved that job because he met so many of the artists he admired.  He first exhibited there in 1969, having become a full-time fine art painter the year before.  At his first exhibit, he sold thirty-eight of the forty paintings, and this success gave him the confidence to remain a full-time painter.

He was named Texas State Artist of the Year, and as a member of the Cowboy Artists of America*, won the gold medal in watercolor seven times.  His paintings consistently reflected his belief that the American cowboy had the star role in the drama of the West - the most beautiful country anywhere.

Sources:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, Contemporary Western Artists
CA Cowboy Artists of America 44th Annual Exhibition, 2009, Exhibition catalogue of the Cowboy Artists of America and the Phoenix Art Museum
Artist Files of the Phoenix Art Museum Library

* For references, see AskART Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx


Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, I:
James Boren and his work have served the cause of introducing art to a broad audience of people who were once intimidate by an elite art establishment. There is nothing pedantic about Boren, an open, honest man, and these qualities are reflected in how work.

A native Texan, he received a master’s degree in fine art from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1951. He taught art for awhile and then spent two years traveling in Alaska and painting landscapes that he had never imagined during his boyhood in a small Texas town. He continued to develop his technique in his favorite medium of watercolor while doing commercial art work in Denver.

In 1965, Boren became the first art director of the newly opened National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Here, among masterpieces of early western, he was inspired to pursue his own fine art ambitions. The young association of western artists, the Cowboy Artists of America, exhibited annually at the Cowboy Hall. Boren was given membership in the group and soon after gave up his position as art director and began to paint full-time. He has been the dominant force in the field of western watercolor ever since.


Sources include: The American West: Legendary Artists of the Frontier, Dr. Rick Stewart, Hawthorne Publishing Company, 1986



Biography from Whistle Pik Galleries:
He knew as a teenager that he wanted to be an illustrator, but his schooling at Southwestern College was interrupted by military service in the Marines. After the war in 1951, he earned his M.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and then taught for two years at St. Mary's College.

With his earnings, he traveled the Southwest and also painted in Alaska, and in 1956 moved to Denver where he worked as a concept illustrator for the Martin Company. In 1959, he began selling cowboy paintings, and in 1964, he became Art Director of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. He loved that job because he met so many of the artists he admired. He first exhibited there in 1969 and sold thirty-eight of the forty paintings. This success gave him the confidence to be a full-time painter.

He was named Texas State Artist of the Year, and as a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, won the gold medal in watercolor seven times.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.

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