Douglas D. Craft
October 20, 1924 – Oct. 14, 2015
The artist Douglas D. Craft, whose work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Butler Institute of American Art and elsewhere, died Wednesday, Oct. 14. He was 90 and a patient at the Roscoe Community Nursing Home, Roscoe, NY, at the time of his death.
Mr. Craft, who made his home in Jeffersonville, NY, for the past 25 years, was born Oct. 20, 1924 in Greene, NY, the son of farmers Harry and Phoebe Hotchkiss Craft. He was one of three siblings. His sisters Reva and Ruth predeceased him. Mr. Craft served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He was married to the fine artist Elizabeth Harms Craft who survives him. The two met while students at the Art Institute of Chicago and were married for 64 years.
Mr. Craft earned a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and was an Associate Professor of painting there from 1955 to 1966. He earned his MFA at the University of New Mexico. He also taught at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Cooper Union, the School of Visual Arts in New York and the College of New Rochelle (NY) as a well at the Royal College of Art in London.
Craft’s work ranges from oil or acrylic on canvas to mixed media collages on paper and canvas. His main influences were the German painter Max Ernst; the manipulations of Picasso; and the works of French painter Henri Matisse. Of Mr. Craft’s work, it has been said, “The layered and textured canvases and collages have a musical quality that is serene yet inherently vibrant and visually stimulating.” Corporate collections of his work include Apple, Pepsico, General Electric, and Chase.
Artist and professor Alan Williams, who met Mr. Craft in England says, “Douglas is one of those true artists who does not follow fashion. His work is true and honest. The paintings have an intrinsic poetry and one never ceases to see new levels of revelation in the one work. I believe … his work will outlive and outshine much of what is being hailed as great today … “
In a newspaper article in March of this year, Mr. Craft gave this advice to young artists, “If you love art, keep looking at art and keep working from it – and work intensely.”
“Never Forgotten,” a one-day exhibit in celebration of his life and talent and taking its name from the oil and canvas mixed media work (year 2000) will take place 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 1, at the Krause Recital Hall, Delaware Arts Center, 37 Main Street, Narrowsburg, NY.