Artists & Designers
Florence Elliot White McClung (1894-1992)
Born in St. Louis on July 12, 1894, Florence McClung née White moved with her family to Texas when she was three years old. Graduated from Bryan High School, she married Rufus A. McClung in 1917 and raised one son, Elliott McClung. Originally focused on studying piano, McClung developed an interest in the visual arts in the early 1920s and studied with Frank Reaugh, Olin Travis, Thomas Stell, Frank Klepper and, later, with Alexandre Hogue. Her art studies continued in New York, at the Cincinnati Art Institute, and at Southern Methodist University where she received degrees in art and English, and education. She completed her graduate work at Texas State College for Women in Denton, Texas and the Colorado School of Fine Arts in Colorado Springs.
In 1929 she accepted an offer to serve as head of the art department at Trinity University in Waxahachie where she remained until 1943 and frequently painted the surrounding countryside. McClung exhibited at the Texas Centennial in 1936, and the Metropolitan Museum purchased her painting, Lancaster Valley, from the exhibition at the New York World's Fair—she was the first Texas artist to receive that honor.
She became interested in printmaking after taking lessons from Alexandre Hogue and began exhibiting her work regularly, including at the National Association of Women Artists exhibitions beginning in 1941. McClung produced several notable wartime images and won many local and national prizes for her work. In 1946 and 1947 she served as president of the Southern States Art League and was the Texas chairman for the National Association of Women Painters. She was also an active member in the Printmakers Guild, a group of professional women artists founded in 1940 as a reaction to the exclusively male Lone Star Printmakers that existed from 1938-1942.
Throughout her life she was an active and productive member of the Dallas art scene. Her work can be seen at many museum across the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the High Museum, Atlanta, and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. She died in 1992 at the age of ninety-seven in the city she adopted as her home, Dallas, Texas.
- Rick Stewart, _Lone Star Regionalism: The Dallas Nine and Their Circle (_Dallas Museum of Arts: Dallas, TX, 1985), 179-80.
- Fred R. Kline. "McClung, Florence Elliot White." Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association, accessed February 16, 2018, https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmcwu.
Southern Methodist University's Digital Collection
View a collection of McClung's works digitally in a local university collection (organized by Southern Methodist University's Central University Libraries Digital Collections).
Read more about this group on the Handbook of Texas Online (published by the Texas State Historical Association).