Ornamental Separator

Eddie Arning: Artist

Opening in Fall 2023
This exhibition will be on view in the Mary B. and William Lehman Guyton Gallery


The bold and colorful art of Eddie Arning immediately captures one’s attention. The artist’s drawings in wax crayon and/or oil pastels feature birds, animals, and scenes from everyday life. While his early images were taken from memory, he was later inspired by illustrations from popular magazines. The exhibition, featuring a few of his pieces, will explore his life and sources of inspiration for his art.

Born in 1898 in Texas, Arning did not start drawing until the 1960s. In the late 1920s, having shown symptoms of mental illness, he was admitted to Austin State Hospital where he spent the next 30 years. He was then discharged to a nursing home. It was during this period, between 1964 and 1973, that he was artistically active, first drawing in coloring books and later creating free-style compositions from memory. Arning was supported by friends who visited with him frequently, furnishing him with art supplies. He passed away in 1993.

Birds and Tree by Eddie Arning, Austin, Texas, 1969. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Sackton, 1984.201.2