Malcolm H. Myers Biography

Malcolm H. Myers




Printmaker and painter Malcolm H. Myers was born in 1917 in the Chillicothe/Lucerne, Missouri area. Thanks to the patronage of a family friend, Meyers attended Wichita State University (WSU) for Art, studying under Clayton Staples. He graduated from WSU in 1940 and, along with friend Garnet Cox, traveled to the University of Iowa at Iowa City to enroll in graduate school, receiving a full scholarship the next year. There he studied under with Fletcher Martin and Emil Ganso, and earned his first Master of Fine Arts, in Watercolor.

After graduation he joined the US Merchant Marines, traveling to Catalina Island, California for training, and was then sent to Officers School in Sheepshead Bay, New York shortly before the war ended. While in New York City, he explored his blossoming love of jazz music, which greatly influenced his work.

Meanwhile, Myers married his longtime Kansas sweetheart Roberta King and after the war they stayed on in New York. He attended the Art Students League in NY but felt that most of the artists he met were not spending a great deal of time on serious art endeavors. He decided to return to Iowa, where he met the Argentinean master printmaker Mauricio Lasansky, who was there on a Guggenheim fellowship. Myers soon worked with Lasansky, earning his second MFA in printmaking and working as Lasansky's assistant.

In 1948, H. Harvard Arnason came to Iowa City, recruiting people to teach in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota (UM). He hired Myers, who then relocated to Minnesota and subsequently founded the UM Printmaking Department in Jones Hall. Over the next few years, Myers was instrumental in organizing the University’s Art Department, the B.F.A. program, and eventually the Arts Graduate Program.

In 1950, Myers received a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent almost 2 years in Paris, working in Bill Hayter’s iconic printmaking studio, Atelier 17. It was here that he met Joan Miró, Enrique Zanartu and other artists involved in the art of printmaking.  Roberta enrolled in the famous millinery school, Guerre d'Lavigne, where she earned a diploma. In 1953 Myers was given a solo show at the University of Minnesota, and the following year he was awarded a second Guggenheim Fellowship, and spent the year working in Mexico City, Mexico. There he met Diego Rivera and became interested in pre-Columbian art.  In Mexico, he renewed his friendship with Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, whom he had met in Paris. He created many works - both paintings and prints - while in Mexico.

During the 1960s, Myers became a full professor and led the art department at the University of Minnesota through many transitions and much growth. The Department of Art in Jones Hall was revised, programs were added, and the department was moved into the Naegele building, all while Myers served as the first Chair of the new Art Department (1965-70). In 1968 he was a part of the Brooklyn Museum's Art: Telling the Printmaking Story exhibition.

For Myers, the 1980s was a decade of much travel, including stints in Arizona and New York City. He also retired (becoming Professor Emeritus) and spent summers in the American West including Yellowstone Park and the Phoenix, AZ area. When Roberta passed away in 1992 Myers stopped traveling, focusing on his art and teaching. In 1996 he was given a major retrospective at the Univery of Minnesota.

Myers never stopped teaching, conducting two or more classes each semester at the University of Minnesota until his death, at 84, in 2002.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1949: College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN
1949 - 1962: Walker Art Center, MN
1952: Harriet Hanley Gallery, MN; High Acre Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1953: University Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
1955: Wichita State University, KS
1956: Hamline University, St. Paul
1957: University of Ohio, Columbus, OH
1958: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN
1960: Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Pratt Creative Graphics Workshop, NY
1964: University of Minnesota, Morris, MN; Bethel College and Seminary, St. Paul, MN
1965: University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK; Wichita Art Museum
1966: Carleton College; Hamline University; Mulvane Art Center, Topeka, KS
1967: Stout State University, Menomonie, WI
1971: College of St. Catherine, St. Paul
1977: Art Lending Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1981: The President's Office, UofMN, Minn.
1982: University Gallery, UofMN, Minn.
1983, '85, '87: Dolly Fiterman Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1996: Malcolm H. Myers: Five Decades of Paintings and Prints (retrospective), Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota

Selected Collections:
The Brooklyn Museum, NY; Library of Congress, NY; New York Public Library; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Newfields (Indiana Museum of Art), Indianapolis, IN; Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; St. Louis Museum of Art, MO; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Wichita Art Museum, KA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Cincinnati Art Museum, OH; Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR; Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN; Dennison University Art Gallery, Granville, OH; Hamline University, St. Paul, MN; Hennpin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN; United States Embassy, Bonn, Germany; University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; among many others.

Awards and Honors:
1950-'51: John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, one year in Paris, France
1954-'55: John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, one year in Mexico City, Mexico
1973: Wichita State University Alumni Achievement Award
1986: Entered in Marquis Who's Who in America

Biography sourced from the artist's website.