Michael Edward O'Brien
(1854 - 1936)
Michael Edward O'Brien was active/lived in Colorado, Ohio. Michael OBrien is known for plein-air landscape and mystic figure painting.
Born in Ohio, Michael O'Brien worked as a hod carrier in Colorado until
age 74, and then became a full time artist until his death at 82.
He commented that he had "been everything from a newsboy during the
Civil War to a performer in a one-night stand circus. I worked in
the steel mills in Chicago and I stoked ships on the Atlantic.
But all the time I wanted to paint." He was entirely self-taught
and understood almost no art vocabulary terms, but he was hailed as
"painting his philosophy of life and of Irish mysticism."
He's was honored as the Outstanding Artist of the Year in 1935 by the
Denver Artists Guild. He had been a founder of the Guild (later
the Colorado Artists Guild) in 1929. He exhibited regularly with
the Guild in the Annual Exhibitions of the Denver Art Museum in the
late 20's and early 30's. Ann Evans, one of the Denver Art Museum
founders, sponsored a one-man retrospective and sale of his works at
the Denver Art Museum in 1936 to help his impoverished widow.
Submitted by Deborah Wadsworth, curator of "Denver Artists Guild
Founders - Fifty-Two Originals" show at Denver Public Library, 2009