B I O G R A P H Y
Malcolm Myers, (American, 1917-2002)
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 for Art, studying under famed Kansan, Clayton Staples.
Myers 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, studying with Fletcher Martin and Emil Ganso. There he earned his first Master of Fine Arts, in Watercolor.
Afterward, he joined the US Merchant Marines, traveled 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. He liked The Blues and Jazz his entire life and it influenced his work greatly.
Meanwhile, Myers married his longtime Kansas sweetheart Roberta King and after the war they stayed on in New York. There, he attended the Art Students League in NY but felt that most artists there were not spending a great deal of time on serious art endeavors. So, he decided to return to Iowa. At Iowa, he met the Argentinean Print Master Mauricio Lasansky (known as the “the Nation’s most Influential Printmaker”) who was there on a Guggenheim fellowship. He eventually worked with Lasansky -- teaching and earning his second MFA in printmaking.
Then, in 1948, H. Harvard Arnason came to Iowa City, recruiting people to teach in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. He hired Myers the young artist moved to Minnesota. Myers subsequently started the U of MN printmaking department in Jones Hall, and over the next few years, 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. Myers was awarded a second Guggenheim Fellowship, in 1954, 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 1960's, 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).
For Myers, the 1980’s were 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, Yellowstone and Phoenix. When Roberta passed away in 1992 Myers stopped traveling, focusing on his art and teaching. In fact, Myers never stopped teaching, conducting two or more classes each semester at the University of Minnesota until his death, at 84, in 2002.
Visit Malcolm H. Myers' Wikipedia page at this link: WIKIPAGE