Carroll Cloar


Carroll Cloar, American, 1913-1993  Waiting for the Hot Springs Special, 1964  Casein tempera on Masonite  Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker  Copyright Estate of Carroll Cloar

Carroll Cloar, American, 1913-1993, Waiting for the Hot Springs Special, 1964,  Casein tempera on Masonite, Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker, Copyright Estate of Carroll Cloar

An exhibition organized by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Arkansas Arts Center. Curated by Stanton Thomas, Curator of European and Decorative Art at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The exhibition features works from major public collections as well as rarely seen pictures still in private hands.

The paintings of Carroll Cloar (1913-1993), rank among the most haunting and beautiful evocations ever made of the American South. Drawing upon family stories, photographs of ancestors, rural scenery, small town life, and memories of his childhood on an Arkansas farm, Cloar captured the quiet richness of a simpler world. At the same time, his images of abandoned buildings, wild panthers, or ghostly figures hint at the darker, more dangerous side of human existence. Many of Cloar’s works—such as Autumn Conversion or Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog—have an achingly familiar quality, suggesting our own family histories or childhood recollections.

Cloar’s complex style pays homage not only to the great American Realist masters and the pointillism of the Post Impressionists, but blends these elements smoothly with the subtly disturbing images and themes of the Surrealists.  His paintings, with their saturated colors, repeating patterns, and shallow picture planes, offer a unique and timeless vision of the American South. Marking the centenary of the artist’s birth, The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South will include approximately eighty paintings, ranging from early Realist masterpieces to the poignant pictures of his later career. This exhibition will be on view at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art from June 8 to September 15, 2013.

It’s the #summerofCloar!

Art Museum at the University of Memphis, Special Collections at University of Memphis Libraries, Christian Brothers University, and DeltaARTS are joining us in our celebration of Carroll Cloar. Visit Summer of Cloar for more information.


Background Courtesy Art Museum of the University of Memphis and Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries (Photo by Jason Miller)