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Biography of Clyfford Still

See works in the collection

b. 1904, Grandin, North Dakota | d. 1980, Baltimore

1904
Born on November 30. Will begin to teach himself drawing while still young.
1925
Moves to New York and enrolls in the Art Students League, only to withdraw immediately, feeling that he has nothing to learn there.
1926
Studies at Spokane University in Washington, but drops out after a year.
1931
Reenrolls at Spokane University, this time earning a degree in art two years later.
1933
Begins teaching fine arts at Washington State College in Pullman, a post he will hold until 1941. Writes his master's thesis there, in 1935.
1934
Spends this summer and the next at the Trask Foundation in Saratoga Springs, New York.
1935
Takes part in the annual exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York.
1941
Moves to California.
1943
Still's first solo exhibition takes place at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Begins teaching at the Richmond Professional Institute in Richmond, Virginia, which he will continue to do for two years.
1945
Moves to New York. Mark Rothko introduces him to Peggy Guggenheim, who invites him to take part in the Autumn Salon at her gallery, Art of This Century, in New York.
1946
Has a solo exhibition at Art of This Century. Returns to and begins to teach at the California School of Fine Arts, where he will stay for four years.
1947
Holds two solo shows, one at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and the other at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York.
1948
With Mark Rothko, David Hare, William Baziotes, and Robert Motherwell, works on establishing the short- lived school Subjects of the Artist (it was closed the following year).
1950
Presents his work at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and Metart Gallery in San Francisco. Moves back to New York.
1951
Exhibits at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York.
1952
Teaches for a year at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Shows seven paintings in the exhibition Fifteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A seven-year period begins in which he will not exhibit his work.
1959
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, holds a major retrospective of Still's work, featuring seventy-two pieces selected by the artist himself.
1960
Teaches a course as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
1961
Moves to a large farm in Westminster, Maryland. 1962 Named a member of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy.
1963
Exhibits his work at the inauguration of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
1964
Donates thirty works to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
1966
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery exhibits its collection of paintings by the artist and dedicates a room permanently installed with his work.
1967
The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore awards Still an honorary doctorate of fine arts.
1969
The Marlborough-Gerson Gallery in New York exhibits a series of paintings it has acquired from the artist.
1971
Participates in the Biennial Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
1972
Receives the Award of Merit in painting from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, but turns down the monetary portion of the award. North Dakota State University in Fargo awards Still an honorary doctorate of fine arts.
1975
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art inaugurates a gallery devoted to paintings by Still. Receives the Skowhegan Medal for Painting from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Donates twenty-eight paintings to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
1976
Thirty-six of his works are displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts by the San Francisco Art Institute.
1978
Elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
1979
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounts an exhibition of Still's work.
1980
The University of Maryland awards Still an honorary doctorate of fine arts. Dies on June 23. In July the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organize two exhibitions in homage to Still.
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