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 Robert A. Daughters  (1929 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Arizona/Missouri      Known for: expressionist western landscape, figure and genre painting

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Robert A Daughters
from Auction House Records.
Church at Las Trampas
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Robert Daughters, born 1929, received the 2004 Master's of the Southwest Award from Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine and was featured in the March 2004 issue.

Daughters has enjoyed a long and distinguished career.  For over thirty years he has celebrated the landscapes and cultures of the Southwest in his expressive* paintings.  Over the years a distinctive style has emerged in his work: bold brush strokes and combined light and dark colors in compositions that are painstakingly designed and executed.

Daughters calls the practice of alternating light and dark colors cloisonne* for its resemblance to the ancient Asian enamel technique.  Dark lines are used to separate colors, defining landscape form with sharp contrast.

Daughters was raised in St. Joseph, Missouri.  After graduation from high school and three years in the military, he worked as a Curator of Display at the St. Joseph Museum of Natural History while attending the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design.

During a 1953 visit to Taos, Daughters discovered the beauty and light of the area. He and his family made their move to Santa Fe in 1970, then to Taos in 1972.  In years prior to moving, he became a partner in a highly successful advertising art studio in Kansas City, Missouri.  During those seventeen years, he won numerous awards from the National Society of Art Directors, the Artist Guide, paper companies, and other organizations in like fields.

Daughters has been painting the Southwest for many years.  At the New Mexico State Fair in 1972, he received the "Best of Show" Award, the Governor's Purchase Award, and the Merit Award at the New Mexico State Fair Show, and since then has participated in one-man, group and exhibition shows throughout the United States. In 1981, he exhibited in "Collection of Art of the West" at the Beijing Exhibition Center in China.  In 1995, he was chosen as one of the artists to be featured in "Covering the West - The Best of Southwest Art", a show that featured 60 of the Southwest Art magazine's 300 cover artists.

Daughters was also featured in Southwest Art magazine's 30th Anniversary issue in May 2004. There have been many articles written on his work in art publications, magazines and books, and he is in Who's Who in American Art. He was the featured artist in the 1984 New Mexico State Calendar, which reproduced thirteen of his paintings.

Rather than describe himself as an impressionist* or expressionist*, Daughters says he is a "composist," his term for an artist who creates paintings with color harmony, the contrast of light and dark value and above all, structure.  His work is created from photographs, charcoal sketches and small plein-air* oil studies.  The emphasis is on structure, an orderly arrangement of shapes, tones and atmospheric* effect.

"The composition always comes first," Daughter says. "I like to have an important visual point; sometimes it's a structure, and sometimes it might be a color." For twenty years he lived in the O.E. Berninghaus home and studio in Taos.  Now, much of the artist's time is spent at his home in the Catalina foothills near Tucson, Arizona.

Source: Kent Whipple, Art Professional

*For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary at http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx



This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Robert A. Daughters became an impressionist/expressionist oil painter of Indians and Southwestern landscapes. He has been interested in art since a child, and considers Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh a strong influence on him.

After serving in the United States military, Daughters worked as the curator of the St. Joseph Museum of Natural History, while attending the Kansas City Art Institute, from which he graduated in 1953. He later became a partner in an advertising art studio, and won over 250 awards over the course of twenty years.

In 1967, he visited a Cowboy Artists (CA) show and was inspired to explore the specific field of Western art. Daughters was one of the Taos Six in October 1974. He participated in the 1981 Peking, China exhibition, and was featured in "Southwest Art" magazine, August 1980.

Source:
Harold and Peggy Samuels, "Contemporary Western Artists"


Biography from Mo's Gallery and Fine Framing:
It was a mid-life change of careers that brought Robert Daughters to painting and to a new lifestyle in Taos, New Mexico.

Daughters first visited Taos on his honeymoon in 1953, where he met the late Charles Berninghaus, the son of Taos' founding artist, Oscar E. Berninghaus. Daughters and his wife Sandra were taken by the charm of the unpaved streets, the adobe houses, Indian ceremonials and the crispness of fall during their brief visit.

But before his midlife turning point of working as an artist in Taos, Daughters' career would first flourish as a fashion artist, Hallmark card designer and owner of his own Kansas City, Kansas, commercial arts studio.

During this time, Daughters also worked at the Kansas City Art Institute. He studied drawing in Europe; and was - by American standards - a commercial success. Yet he wanted something more. "You can only spend so much time in advertising and survive emotionally," he says.

So, Daughters and his wife picked up and moved to New Mexico, first settling in Santa Fe, then in Talpa, where they owned the Simmons/Alexander Gallery on Bent Street for a year. They bought the centuries-old Berninghaus home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Daughters is the kind of quietly self-confident personality who does not need flourishes or fanfare. He paints as surely as he would work - eight hours a day - and his approach to his second career is pragmatic.

The artist has created his own term for his style: composist. Like a composer who hears the melody in his head, Daughters sees the elements in his mind's eye. The resulting works are beautifully composed and quietly colored.

By his own assessment, his composist period is the fourth in his art career. He calls his early work academic, his later works impressionist, then expressionist. His sometimes-experimental, less representational works generally go into the collection of his wife, but may be a prelude to yet another new period.

In the 1970s, Daughters was part of the Taos 6, a group of impressionist artists. The six, who painted and promoted together, included Ron Barsano, Rod Goebel, Walt Gonske, Ray Vinella and Julian Robles. All have gone on, like Daughters, to evolve their own unique, individual styles.

But the artist's community life doesn't get in the way of his art, which continues, to evolve and grow. Daughters delight himself and his viewers by seeing the magic of Taos in his mind's eye and putting the music to canvas.

Biography from Meyer Gallery:
“A tireless, compulsive painter, he has produced countless representations of the Southwest in all of its magnificence. His style is characterized by dark outlines and short discrete brush strokes that catch color and movement of his subjects with vivid flourish. And above all he conveys a sense of the regions brilliant light.”
Southwest Art , September 1993

Born in 1929, Robert Daughters was raised in St. Joseph, Missouri. After graduation from high school and three years in the military, he worked as a Curator of Display at the St. Joseph Museum of Natural History while attending the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design.

During a 1953 visit to Taos, Robert discovered the beauty and light of the area. He and his family finally made their move to Santa Fe in 1970, then to Taos in 1972. In those interim years he became a partner in a highly successful advertising art studio in Kansas City, Missouri. During those seventeen years, he won numerous awards from the National Society of Art Directors, the Artist Guide, paper companies and other organizations in like fields.

His earlier works were in a realistic, academic vein and consisted of many charcoal drawings of Southwest Indians, oils of New Mexico landscapes and Pueblo scenes. He received the Best of Show Award, the Governor's Purchase Award and the Merit Award at the New Mexico State Fair Show in 1972 and since then has participated in one-man, group and exhibition shows throughout the United States. In 1981, he exhibited in a Collection of Art of the West at the Beijing Exhibition Center in China.

In 1995, he was chosen as one of the artists to be featured in Covering the West - The Best of Southwest Art a show which features 60 of the Southwest Art's 300 cover artists. The show is currently touring to various national museums.
Robert is represented in foundation, bank, museum and private collections. There have been many articles written on his work in art publications, magazines and books and he is in Who's Who in American Art. He was the featured artist in the 1984 New Mexico Calendar which reproduced thirteen of his paintings.

For twenty years he lived in the O.E. Berninghaus home and studio in Taos, New Mexico. Now, much of the artist's time is spent in his homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Arkansas.


Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, I:
Impressionist oil painter of Southwestern landscapes and of Indians, Robert Daughters was born in Trenton, Missouri, in 1929, lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1972, but has spent much time in Arizona.  “It looked like the Cowboy Artist of America was a great organization and so I decided to join them.   I went to see one of the heads at CA, and he explained the whole thing. You didn’t just walk in and say here I am. When it comes to the CA, you are asked to join. I somehow got the feeling I wasn’t on their ‘Things To Do Today’ list.

“I was raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was entering drawing contests before I was ten. I can honestly say I was never interested in anything else. After high school, I went into the service. When I came out I worked as a curator at he St. Joseph Museum of Natural History while attending the Kansas City Art Institute.” After graduating in 1953, Daughters became a partner in an advertising art studio, winning more than 250 awards in twenty years.

It was about 1967 when he saw the CA show and said, “I can do this.” He adds that “on my return, I did six canvases that were very, very Western. The paintings were accepted by a very good gallery, and I thought I had it made. I look back now and I realize that I made a terrible mistake in the subject matter. It wasn’t just me. When I got into landscapes and Indian portraits, I felt better about myself. That must have come through, because the happier I became the more I sold. He regards van Gogh as a strong influence.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

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


Robert Daughters is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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