Colorado & Regional Art

The Vagrant

The Vagrant

Year
1948

Artist
Clarence Durham (1904–1994, American)

Media
oil on canvas

Dimensions
20 x 24 inches

Clarence Durham was a native of Colorado, born in Denver in 1904. He initially took classes at the Denver Art Academy, Corey Art School and the University of Denver, also studying privately with artists Henry Read and Robert A. Graham. Beginning in 1928, Durham worked for 41 years at the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company (today CenturyLink), using his artistic talent to design displays as Art Director and later Advertising Supervisor. Primarily a painter, he also experimented with photography. A strong presence on the local art scene as a founding member of the Denver Artists Guild (DAG) in 1928, he served four terms as its President, including in 1948 when eight artists split to form a rival modernist group, 15 Colorado Artists. Durham painted The Vagrant to reflect his frustration surrounding the Guild breakup and to demonstrate his ability to promote modernism while still a member of the organization. Unable to reconcile the rift between the 15 and the DAG, he remained a central figure in the Guild and a friend to many Denver artists. Durham’s work decorated the walls of the telephone company in Denver and his painting Toll Line Construction over the Continental Divide—Loveland Pass, Colorado hung in the AT&T boardroom in New York City.

ON VIEW in Art Deco Gallery 6

Signature
Signed "Clarence Durham" lower left corner

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art; Gift of Cynthia Jennings

Accession Number
2007.0909

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