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Robert E. McPherson
Robert E. McPherson (American, 1918-1993) noted Western New York painter, instructor and picture framer primarily known for seascapes, landscapes, industrial scenes in watercolor. He was born in Buffalo to Robert Claude McPherson (1878-1968) and Pearl Matilda (née Daily, 1887-1971) and had a sister Ruth Charlotte Jessop (1916-1970). His father once studied plaster cast drawing with noted American artist Eugene Speicher (1883-1962), and his mother was also an artist. Robert graduated from South Park High School and studied art at the Art Institute of Buffalo under the GI Bill after his WWII service years. He later became an instructor of drawing and painting fundamentals at the Institute and taught adult-education art classes at Amherst High School, Amherst, NY.

During WWII, Robert organized the New Guinea Art Institute in 1943 while serving as a surgical technician in the U.S. Army at the 247th General Hospital in Nadzab, New Guinea. It was known as the “Little Mayo Clinic” (previously the 233rd Station Hospital), and had been under the administration of the well known American surgeon Dr. Charles W. Mayo (1898-1968), who was a member of the board of governors of the famous Mayo Clinic. Before and after his WWII service years, McPherson had been employed at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute where he was in charge of the animal laboratory, the inspiration for painting studies of guinea pigs and other research laboratory scenes. It was there that he met his wife in 1946, Maria M. (née Eichler) McPherson (1922-2007) also an artist. The couple had a son Robert K. McPherson (c1954-).

Robert exhibited in Buffalo and across New York State in many solo and group exhibitions as well as in Kansas City, MO, Michigan, Vermont and the Philippines. He was a member of the Patteran Society and a charter member of the Albright Picture Loan Library, both in Buffalo, NY, and the American-British Art Center, Inc., NYC. His artwork can be found in numerous private and public collections including: The Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY and the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now Everson Museum of Art), Syracuse, NY. Later in life, Robert worked for many years at Buffalo Picture Frame Co. where he restored antique paintings and framed paintings. He died December 13, 1993 at the age of seventy-five in Buffalo General Hospital after a long illness and is buried along with his wife in Elma Cemetery, Elma, NY.


Chronology:

1918- Born, Buffalo, NY to Robert Claude McPherson (1878-1968) and Pearl Matilda (née Daily, 1887-1971) and had a sister Ruth Charlotte Jessop (1916-1970).

1939- Exhibited, group show, “Western New York Art Exhibition”, three paintings, Buffalo, NY.

1940- Exhibited, group show (Museum Purchase Prize) “New York State Exhibition”, for the watercolor painting “Winter” (1940), by the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now Everson Museum of Art, and is now in private collection as of 2017), Syracuse, NY.

1941- May, exhibited, group show, “New York State Exhibition of Oils and Water Colors”, Syracuse, NY. June, exhibited, group show, Grand Central Art Galleries, NYC.

1943- During his WWII service years, Robert organized the New Guinea Art Institute while serving as a surgical technician at the 247th General Hospital known as the “Little Mayo Clinic” because it was under the direction of Dr. Charles Mayo. While still in the service as a Private First Class, Robert exhibited in a solo show, J.N. Adams Gallery, one watercolor painting “Backyards in Spring”, Fifth Floor Galleries, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited Old Willow”, group show (First Watercolor Prize $25), “Western New York Art Exhibition”, “Buffalo, NY.

1950- April 14-July 5, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Show”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. October 11-?, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Show”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1951- April 11-?, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Show”, Room of Local Art, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. November 18-Dec. 5, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Show”, Room of Local Art, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1952- March 5-?, exhibited, group show, “18th Annual Western New York Art Exhibition”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. October 12--November 2, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Show”, Room of Local Art, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1953- Exhibited, group show, “Western New York Art Exhibition”, (his mother and wife were also represented in the show), Buffalo, NY. April 12-24, exhibited, solo show, “Retrospective”, 100 works, Art Institute of Buffalo, 267 West Utica St., Buffalo, NY. July 4-?, exhibited, group show, “18th Annual Mid-Year Show”, Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, OH. December 12-24, exhibited, group show, “Fourth Annual Christmas Exhibit and Sale”. Robert demonstrated a watercolor painting technique on opening day, Art Institute of Buffalo, 267 West Utica St., Buffalo, NY.

1954- May 12-June 9, exhibited, group show, “Patteran Society Members’ Watercolor Show”, for the painting “Backyard Motif No. 23”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1959- Oct 29-Nov. 15, exhibited, solo show, Elma Library, Elma, NY.

1961- March 24-April 9, exhibited, group show, “Art 61 Exhibit of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

1970- Summer months starting May 30, exhibited, two-person show, “Polly King & Robert E. McPherson”, Olcott Artists Colony, at Admiral Benbow Studio, Olcott, NY.

1993- December 13, died at the age of seventy-five, in Buffalo General Hospital after a long illness and is buried along with his wife in Elma Cemetery, Elma, NY.


Exhibited also: Other annual “Western New York Art Exhibition” shows, Buffalo, NY; Three-man show at the Clark Field Air Base, Luzon Island, Philppines; Riverside Museum, NYC; William Rockhill Nelson Gallery (now The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), Kansas City, MO; Rochester, NY; Utica, NY; Albany, NY; Michigan and Vermont.

Prizes/Awards: First Watercolor Prize $25, “Old Willow”, at the “Western New York Art Exhibition”, Buffalo, NY; and a Museum Purchase Prize for the watercolor painting “Winter” 1940, “New York State Exhibition”, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now Everson Museum of Art, now in private collection as of 2017), Syracuse, NY.

Memberships/Associations: Patteran Society, Buffalo, NY; Charter Member of the Albright Picture Loan Library, Buffalo, NY; and the American-British Art Center, Inc., NYC.

Collections: Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Watercolor painting, "Winter" (1940), Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now Everson Museum of Art, now in private collection as of 2017), Syracuse, NY.

(Written by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 14052, sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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