For Collectors of International Art
We specialize in the Art and Artists of New Mexico
Paintings by Alfred Morang currently for sale.....
#1.....Female nude.....1945...6" x 10"
#2.....Sketch of Taos Hills...1951
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Alfred Morang was born in Maine. He studied music, painting, and literature in Boston, but eventually returned to Portland, Maine. Although exhibiting his paintings in Boston, Morang concentrated on writing during this period and published several fictional works in the 1930's.
Tuberculosis necessitated a move to a drier climate and he relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1937. In Santa Fe, Morang's interest turned back to painting. He was a founding member of the Transcendental Painting Group in 1938 along with Raymond Jonson, Emil Bisttram, and William Lumpkins, among others. The group focused on painting that transcended the sensory perceptions to that which was spiritual. He died tragically in a fire in his Canyon Road studio in 1958.
DOROTHY MORANG: Yes, my husband’s health was very bad, and it was recommended that he come to a higher, dryer climate.
SYLVIA LOOMIS: Yes, that was Alfred Morang? Well were you painting after you got to Santa Fe?
DOROTHY MORANG: Yes, I started even more seriously. I’d been working quite steadily in Portland, Maine – Alfred and I lived there for about seven years before we came here – and I went on and worked very seriously with some criticism from Alfred and from Raymond Jonson, who was living in Santa Fe then.
SYLVIA LOOMIS: Yes, and what were you doing at the time the Federal Art Project came along, do you remember?
SYLVIA LOOMIS: And that was under the supervision of Vernon Hunter, is that right?
DOROTHY MORANG: Well in order to pass the test to be admitted to the project, Mr. Hunter asked me to do a portrait of Archbishop Lamy from whatever photographs I could find. And he approved of this, so I was admitted as an “artist grade 2” to be an easel painter on the project.
SYLVIA LOOMIS: Do you know what happened to that portrait of Archbishop Lamy?
DOROTHY MORANG: I have no idea.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Dorothy Morang on December 3, 1964. The interview was conducted in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Sylvia Loomis for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
SYLVIA LOOMIS: This is an interview with Mrs. Dorothy Morang, Curator of Fine Arts at the Fine Art Gallery in the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, on December 3, 1964. The interviewer is Mrs. Sylvia Loomis of the Santa Fe office of the Archives of American Art. The subject to be discussed is Mrs. Morang’s participation in both the Federal Art and the Federal Music projects during the 1930’s. But first, Dorothy, will you tell us where you were born and where you received your art education?
DOROTHY MORANG: I was born in Richmond, Maine, and I had no formal art education, but I had painted from the time I was a child and passed juries in the East and Portland Maine, for at least two shows in the museum there before I came to Santa Fe.
An early influence on Tommy’s art in Santa Fe was Alfred Morang. In a 1987 "Santa Fe New Mexican" article, gallery owner and long-time friend of Tommy, Bill Tate, (who met and got to know Tommy within a year or so after Tommy arrived in Santa Fe) said Tommy was "a little Italian washing dishes in a restaurant who could paint and that [I] told him that if he wanted to be an artist he should associate with the Canyon Roaders, as [I] called them. He fell for Alfred Morang, the King of Canyon Road, adopting him as his mentor; Tommy and Randall Davey were frequent guests on Morang’s radio show – The World of Art with Alfred Morang.’"
Morang died in a fire in 1957 but his influence showed in Tommy’s work in his use of the palette knife and a thick impasto technique. Tommy quickly became known for his colorful garden scenes and landscapes and for his colorful personality as well. His fondness for animals led him to trade many paintings for veterinary care and food
8. Alfred Morang, "Abstract and Non-objective Painters, in Show at Museum, Are the Adventurers of Art," Santa Fe New Mexican, 4 June 1938.
9. Alfred Morang, "First Local Exhibition by the New Transcendental Painting Group," Santa Fe New Mexican, 19 May 1939.