Great and Mighty Artist of the Day:
Born Germania, Texas, 1898; died McGregor, Texas, 1993
Eddie Arning was born into a German immigrant family in Texas. He attended school until he was twelve and then worked on his family’s farm until the age of thirty, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He spent most of his remaining days in mental hospitals and nursing homes. When he was sixty-six years old, an occupational therapist encouraged him to draw, and for years he drew during much of the day. He found inspiration from memories, farm animals and machinery, and eventually illustrations in popular magazines. In 1973, after he was forced to leave his nursing home and live with his sister, he stopped making art.
A professor at the University of Texas began collecting Arning’s work in the 1960s. In 1970 the artist’s drawings were included in a show at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, and in 1985 the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg, Virginia, held a one-man exhibition of his work.
See his work in Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, opening March 3!