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Winter's Leaves of the Winter of 1944

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Winter's Leaves of the Winter of 1944

1944

Morris Graves

born Fox Valley, Oregon, 1910; died Loleta, California, 2001

By the end of 1944 the ongoing long war seemed interminable. That men on the battlefields of Europe would endure another brutally cold winter further underscored for Graves the inhumanity of military leaders.

To him, the war was now like an unrelenting harsh winter wind, still toying with the dead and dying leaves of summer. He painted this as a chilling homage to war’s victims. “I thought I would send it as a message to Winston Churchill,” Graves told a friend.

Ink and transparent and opaque watercolor on laid paper, 31 3/4 x 58 3/4 in., now mounted on sized commercial paper
31 3/4 x 58 3/4 (80.6 x 149.2)
Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection
59.175
Provenance: George Mantor, Seattle, Washington; to Mr. and Mrs. C. Bagley Wright, Seattle, Washington; by gift to Seattle Art Museum, December 1959 [as Leaves Before the Autumn Wind]
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
location
Not currently on view

Resources

Exhibition HistoryPortland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Twentieth Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bagley Wright, 1964. Cat. no. 16., not reproduced? [as Leaves Before the Autumn Wind].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern Art Pavilion, Northwest Traditions, June 29 - Dec. 10, 1978 (Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center, Mar.19 - Apr. 29, 1979). Text by Martha Kingsbury. No cat. no., not reproduced [as Leaves Before Autumn Wind].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Views and Visions in the Pacific Northwest, June 7 - Sept. 2, 1990. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Light, Shadow, and Gesture: Paintings by Northwest Artists, Aug. 14, 1997 - Aug. 2, 1998. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection of Modern Art, Mar. 4, 1999 - May 5, 1999. Text by Trevor Fairbrother with an essay by Bagley Wright. No cat. no., checklist p. 117, reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century, Oct. 15, 1999 - Jan. 23, 2000. Text by Sheryl Conkelton and Martha Kingsbury. No cat. no, not reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Morris Graves and Seattle, Nov. 1, 2001 - Oct. 20, 2002. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Night Sounds: Nocturnal Visions of Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, May 4 - Oct. 15, 2006. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Moderinism in the Pacific Northwest:The Mythic and the Mystical, June 19-Sept. 7, 2014. Text by Patricia Junker. No cat. no., p. 25, reproduced pp. 28-29, pl. 14.
Published ReferencesJohns, Barbara. Modern Art from the Pacific Northwest in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1990. Cat. no. 9, p. 12, reproduced [as Leaves Before Autumn Wind, 1944].

Wolff, Theodore F. Morris Graves: The Early Works (La Conner, Washington: Museum of Northwest Art, 1998), p. 30, reproduced [p. 64; as Winter's Leaves].


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