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"Spring Bouquet And Primroses" - 1980
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|Biography from Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.:|
|Theresa Hinchy Grau was born
April 8, 1908 in Buffalo, New York and was a student of the Buffalo Fine
Arts Academy. Among the subjects studied was costume design, for which
her entry was awarded a prize by the School of Fine Arts in 1930. From
1932-40 she was an instructor with the Art Institute of Buffalo,
teaching antique drawing, life drawing and anatomy. Throughout this
time period, numerous awards, newspaper articles and photos appeared
recognizing her accomplishments in still life oil painting as well as
From 1952-1984 Theresa exhibited regularly as a member with Buffalo
Society of Artists (BSA), Batavia Society of Artists, and Williamsville
Art Society of Artists. For three decades beginning in 1964, the Fine
Arts League granted many awards for her entries, including four Gold
Medals in 1967, 1970, 1974 and 1978. One woman shows were held in the
Lancaster Library during the late 1960’s and early 70’s which were very
Theresa’s realistic paintings and graphite drawings were exhibited with
the likes of well known contemporaries such as Mildred Green, James
Schaffer, Robert and Jeannette Blair. Today this body of work of varied
still life compositions displays a mastery of proportion, color and
value which remains timeless.
My mother the artist
From a young age she was a keen observer of life and nature. She loved
the water and took me on many rides on the Crystal Beach boat and others
as I was growing up. She was a fine sculptor in her youth but settled
on painting after marriage. Early on she did some fine watercolors but
finally settled in on oil and china painting.
Very much a realist, she still moved objects on the canvas to aid
composition and perspective. She prided herself on her realistic use of
color and often mixed two or three or more colors together until she
achieved the exact shade and intensity she was seeking. She was very
interested in the play of light on her subject and sometimes worked for
several hours over successive days to portray the effect of light from
her north studio window on a shiny object, such as a vase. This gave
such subjects a three dimensional effect.
When she painted flowers she would work feverishly for hours to capture
petal shapes and colors before the flowers wilted. She loved painting
old barns, and preserved many on canvas before the plague of
development, time and weathering destroyed them. She had no use for the
houses which replaced them and the open spaces they commanded. She had
a fine sense for antiques and along with my father, collected many.
Theresa Hinchy Grau
Having had polio as a child, she developed a life-long battle with pain,
but she never let it get her down. Her favorite Bible verse was, “This
is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”.
She was a “make lemonade when the world gives you lemons” kind of a
She was a woman of dignity and grace, a real ‘lady’. She had a warmth
and approachability, though she was a bit shy too. She had a steady,
almost iron will – a hard worker. She lived with love and integrity.
She was a loving and nurturing mother and wife and though she loved her
art, family came first, always. She lived in the moment, devoting
herself fully to important tasks. More than once she became absorbed in
her studio work and a kitchen pot boiled over.
She often helped her husband, Wilson prepare for his prize-winning
soapstone sculptures. She taught at Buffalo Art Institute, and also
gave occasional private art instructions. She was enthusiastic about
other artists’ work, and never stopped learning her craft, never
settling for mediocre results. Theresa was a fine cook, pie-maker, and
seamstress, making everything from doll outfits to draperies for her
windows. She appreciated all the arts, and often listened to classical
music. She was an avid reader, especially of mysteries and of artist
magazines. We greatly miss her in our lives now.
-Kandace Grau, daughter-in-law
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