LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - He’s an artist who was considered one of the best back in the 1930’s, but has been forgotten for many years. In fact the majority of his works were in a storage unit for the last decade. But about two hundred of Victor Thall’s works are now on display at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts.
Executive Director of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts Tiffany Jehorek is helping all of us in the “Discovering of Victor Thall”, which happens to be the name of the exhibit.
“Victor Thall was an abstract expressionist. He painted in the ’40’s and ’50’s in New York. He painted with the likes of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning but like a lot of artists, a little temperamental and wasn’t crazy about the pop movement and said, bleh,” Jehorek said.
So he traveled around Europe, but his timing maybe wasn’t the best because that’s when the:
“Abstract Expressionist Movement was rising to fame. And so he left right at the crux of it,” Jehorek revealed.
Back in the 1920’s he studied in Paris and met Henri Mattise and rubbed elbows with many famous artists while in Europe and America.
In fact, according to the big timeline on the wall at the museum, he enrolled in the Student’s Art League back in 1912 at 11 years old and stuck with painting for years.
But it’s not just Thall’s paintings on display, it’s also:
“Artifacts and photographs and letters, and letters from Elaine de Kooning and he’s also recorded on audio at the Smithsonian,” Jehorek stated.
“He also was part of the Federal Art Program during the Great Depression. He met the likes of Ernest Hemmingway in the twenties, and Matisse,” Jehorek said.
He had painted his own way all of his life.
“And then ended up retiring into Palm Springs California, and he met this lady at the end of his life and spent the last ten years of his life with her,” Jehorek explained.
And when he died in 1983:
“He donated his entire collection to her,” Jehorek said.
And when she passed away:
“It went to her son, who lives in Tyler, Texas,” Jehorek added.
She says it was a random set of circumstances that led her to him and that storage unit, and now Thall is unleashed at last, and it starts in East Texas.
But what doesn’t, right?
Jehorek says there has been interest shown to start a touring exhibit of Thall’s work, but for now through February 22 it will be on display at the Longview Museum of Fine Art.