In memory of
William James "Jack" McLarty
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In memory of
William James "Jack" McLarty
McLarty, William James 'Jack' 92 April 24, 1919 June 10, 2011 Jack died peacefully at home with his eldest son, Hugh, and beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara, at his side. Jack was born in Seattle, but grew up in Portland and considered it his home. A native of "Puddle City" in the truest sense, he lived as a child in the Goose Hollow and downtown areas, attending first the Ladd School and then Benson Polytechnic High School. While attending Benson, he came to realize that he wanted to be an artist. His parents felt that this was an impractical idea and tried to persuade him to go into what they thought would be a more secure career, such as mechnical drafting or plumbing. In the end they agreed to allow him to attend the museum school (now PNCA), at that time a newly formed school at the newly built Portland Art Museum. When Jack began taking art classes at the school, there were only about 30 students. After graduating he headed to New York to study at the Art Students League, where he rented a room from another young artist from Portland, Louis Bunce. After he returned from New York, he was offered a position at the museum school where he would teach for the next 35 years, forming close friendships with other young artists who, over time, would make a conservative backwater town into the vibrant creative city of today. He influenced and encouraged the best young artists in his years as a teacher. At the same time, he focused on his own development as an artist. He had his first one-man show of paintings at the Portland Art Museum in 1945 and this was the beginning of a lifetime of achievements. While in New York he studied with the muralist Anton Refrieger and then went on to paint murals at Laurelhurst School, Collinsview School (moved later to Capitol Hill School) and Buckman School. In 1961 he and his wife opened the first artists' cooperative gallery in Portland, the Image Gallery. They focused at first on showing local and young artists who at that time had no venue to show their work. Later Jack and Barbara would go on to showcase ethnic arts from all over the world and introduce Inuit and Mexican folk art to Portland. His artwork, paintings and prints won a long list of awards. He loved to create art specific to Portland, invoking the city's people and places, and the Willamette with its many bridges. He was proud of a poster selected by the city to celebrate the opening of the Portland Transit Mall. His works are in museum collections all over the country as well as the UO, Pacific University, Hallie Ford Museum, the Portland Art Museum and the library at WSU. As an artist he explored different media over time and loved exploring new materials from found architectural pillars to different papers for woodcuts and prints. He illustrated and helped to create several limited edition books including "17 Love Poems", "To His Coy Mistress", "Wind and Pines" and "The Book of Color." His largest public work is a woodcut mural on display in Portland City Hall. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Hugh and Charles; daughter, Laura; and thousands of students. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sophie Jensen McLarty; father, George McLarty; and daughter, Polly Harrison McLarty. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at the PNCA Commons. The family asks that donations in Jack's name be made to PNCA, to be used to fund an annual printmaking prize.
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In memory of
William James "Jack" McLarty
McLarty, William James 'Jack' 92 April 24, 1919 June 10, 2011 Jack died peacefully at home with his eldest son, Hugh, and beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara, at his side. Jack was born in Seattle, but grew up in Portland and considered it his home. A native of "Puddle City" in the truest sense, he lived as a child in the Goose Hollow and downtown areas, attending first the Ladd School and then Benson Polytechnic High School. While attending Benson, he came to realize that he wanted to be an artist. His parents felt that this was an impractical idea and tried to persuade him to go into what they thought would be a more secure career, such as mechnical drafting or plumbing. In the end they agreed to allow him to attend the museum school (now PNCA), at that time a newly formed school at the newly built Portland Art Museum. When Jack began taking art classes at the school, there were only about 30 students. After graduating he headed to New York to study at the Art Students League, where he rented a room from another young artist from Portland, Louis Bunce. After he returned from New York, he was offered a position at the museum school where he would teach for the next 35 years, forming close friendships with other young artists who, over time, would make a conservative backwater town into the vibrant creative city of today. He influenced and encouraged the best young artists in his years as a teacher. At the same time, he focused on his own development as an artist. He had his first one-man show of paintings at the Portland Art Museum in 1945 and this was the beginning of a lifetime of achievements. While in New York he studied with the muralist Anton Refrieger and then went on to paint murals at Laurelhurst School, Collinsview School (moved later to Capitol Hill School) and Buckman School. In 1961 he and his wife opened the first artists' cooperative gallery in Portland, the Image Gallery. They focused at first on showing local and young artists who at that time had no venue to show their work. Later Jack and Barbara would go on to showcase ethnic arts from all over the world and introduce Inuit and Mexican folk art to Portland. His artwork, paintings and prints won a long list of awards. He loved to create art specific to Portland, invoking the city's people and places, and the Willamette with its many bridges. He was proud of a poster selected by the city to celebrate the opening of the Portland Transit Mall. His works are in museum collections all over the country as well as the UO, Pacific University, Hallie Ford Museum, the Portland Art Museum and the library at WSU. As an artist he explored different media over time and loved exploring new materials from found architectural pillars to different papers for woodcuts and prints. He illustrated and helped to create several limited edition books including "17 Love Poems", "To His Coy Mistress", "Wind and Pines" and "The Book of Color." His largest public work is a woodcut mural on display in Portland City Hall. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Hugh and Charles; daughter, Laura; and thousands of students. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sophie Jensen McLarty; father, George McLarty; and daughter, Polly Harrison McLarty. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at the PNCA Commons. The family asks that donations in Jack's name be made to PNCA, to be used to fund an annual printmaking prize.
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