Artists & Designers

Merritt Mauzey (1898-1973)

Born in Clifton, Texas, Merritt Mauzey was raised on a cotton farm in Oak Creek Valley, Nolan County, where he absorbed first hand the planting, nurturing, and harvesting processes. He was married in 1918 and two years later acquired his own cotton farm. This venture did not prove to be a success, and Mauzey was forced to sell his land and move to Sweetwater, Texas, where he worked as a clerk for a cotton company. In 1927 he moved with his family to Dallas and took a position with J. Kahn and Company, a cotton exporter. At the same time he rekindled an old interest in art and began formal study with Frank Klepper at the Dallas Art Institute.

His artistic debut was the exhibition of two works at the Texas Centennial in 1936. Around the same time he began a series of works based on his knowledge of the cotton industry. Mauzey was one of the charter members of the Lone Star Printmakers, and by 1940 he had become one of the first artists in the area to own a lithographic press, teaching himself printing. Shortly after this he taught lithography at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and began exhibiting much more widely, winning several awards. Carl Zigrosser, one of the most well-known historians of American printmaking, became an early admirer of Mauzey's work and encouraged his advancement. In 1946 Mauzey was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, the first Texas artist to be so honored. He used it to create a series of lithographs about Texas, which he executed with the cooperation of master printers Lawrence Barrett in Colorado Springs and George Miller in Woodstock and New York. After his retirement in 1962, Mauzey became an active supporter of the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas, which possesses a large collection of his work.

Adapted from

Rick Stewart, _Lone Star Regionalism: The Dallas Nine and Their Circle (_Dallas Museum of Arts: Dallas, TX, 1985), 177-78.

Fun Facts

  • In 1955 Merritt Mauzey wrote and illustrated several books for children including Cotton Farm Boy and Texas Ranch Boy.

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