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Malcolm Myers (1917-2002)

He received his B.F.A. in 1939 from the University of Wichita, his M.A. in 1941 and his M.F.A. in 1948 from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. From 1946 to 1948 he was an instructor of printmaking at the University of Iowa and in the following year joined the University of Minnesota's Department of Art. He was a Professor of Studio Art until his death in 2002. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships for creative work in graphic arts. The first one, in 1950, took him to Paris, France where he worked with William Hayter. The second one took him to Mexico where he met up with Diego Rivera. Myers work is in the collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale, National Gallery of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Cincinnati art Museum, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern art, City Art Museum of St. Louis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Seattle Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Weisman Art Museum, and world wide private art collections.


Malcolm’s work is recognizable for its unique imagery, notably his emblematic depictions of all species of animal. Although he was focused primarily on intaglio, or etching and engraving techniques, Malcolm worked through both painting and prints when pursuing a series and revisited signature themes over the years, In the studio, he was influenced by the rhythms of jazz, stating, “I change the lines and shapes – usually many times – until I feel some image that I like is emerging. I have been a devotee of progressive jazz for a long time and like to think that my attitude about executing a print has something in common with the improvisational aspects of good jazz music.”

Accordingly, unexpected line impressions and thumbprints would often be accepted and incorporated into the work. The artist exhibited a passion for drawing at an early age, recalling cowboys and horses as favorite subjects, forms that would return in his mature work, along with other animal motifs. “I have a deep respect for animals, birds – all living things – which I attempt to convey in many of my prints,” he explained. “I try to show the uniqueness of creatures that I portray. This very possibly may be the influence of my early reading of books about Peter Rabbit, Danny Meadow Mouse, and Blacky the Crow.”

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