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 Peter Bryce Searcy  (1882 - 1964)

About: Peter Bryce Searcy
 

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Lived/Active: Florida/Texas      Known for: history and landscape, illustrator

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Biography from The Grace Museum:
The 7th of 12 siblings, Peter Searcy was born in Tuscaloosa, AL in 1882. Searcy's family was renowned for their contributions to medicine with several members, including five of his brothers as well as his father and grandfather, dedicating their lives to the communities as doctors of medicine.

Choosing to dedicate his life to art rather than the family profession, Searcy was referred by his siblings as "the black sheep of the family." He studied at the University of Alabama where he was the sole illustrator of the 1901 college yearbook. He then attended art school in New York City before returning to Alabama to work as a cartoonist and illustrator for Montgomery's "Alabama Journal".

After an artistic journey that led him to the Florida panhandle, in the early 1940s, he settled in Austin, Texas. The mystique of Texas history and landscape dominated Searcy's paintings once he moved to Texas. While working as a curator for The University of Texas' Texas Memorial Museum, he painted murals and dioramas of Texas that comprised the museum's exhibitions.

A good friend of Texas historian J. Frank Dobie, Searcy was inspired to paint Texas genre scenes for commission as well as pleasure. Searcy carved many of the frames for these genre paintings, featuring cattle brands, ropes, or other western memorabilia that enhanced the subject matter of the painting. During Searcy's curatorship at the museum, he was known to have used the barter system of exchanging paintings for food and lodging with hotels and restaurants in the Austin area.

Peter Bryce Searcy died in 1964 in Austin, at the age of 81.



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