James Roman Andrus Biography

James Roman Andrus




James Roman Andrus, painter, printmaker, and educator, was born on July 11, 1907, in St. George, Utah.

Andrus moved to Southern California in the early 1930s and worked as a sign painter in San Diego. With an aim of enrolling in the Otis Art Institute, Andrus moved north to Los Angeles where he worked nights. He studied at Otis between 1933 and 1939 where he was greatly influenced by modernist painters Eduard Vysekal and Roscoe Shrader.

He returned to Utah and received his bachelor‘s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University. He continued studies at the Art Students’ League in New York and Columbia University before earning his doctoral degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1958.  Andrus’ 1948 intaglio, Effulgence from an Inner Light, suggests that he also studied, however informally, with Stanley William Hayter either in San Francisco or at the New School or Atelier 17 in New York.

Andrus joined the Brigham Young University Art Department in 1940. At first he was a painting instructor, and in 1950 he became an assistant professor of painting and printmaking and, in 1958, was named to full professor. He founded and designed the printmaking department and also chaired the department for a number of years. He taught at BYU until his retirement in 1972. His work is in the collections of Brigham Young University, Springville Museum and the Utah State Capitol.

Dr. Andrus also served as chairman of the Pacific Arts Association National Headquarters Committee, and member of the Utah State Institute of Fine Arts, the Utah Symphony Orchestra Board, and the Utah Academy of Arts, Science and Letters. He died at home in Provo, Utah on June 23, 1993.