Travis, Olin Herman. 1888-1975. Dallas. Landscape, portrait, and Figure painter, graphic artist, muralist, teacher, writer.
Born and reared in Dallas, Travis attended public schools there. in his youth he received instruction from R. Jerome Hill, Florence Rhine, Hans Kunz-Meyer, and Max Hagendorn. At the urging of Clyde Giltner Chandler, Travis enrolled in 1909 in the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied five consecutive years before becoming an associate instructor at the institute in 1914. His teachers included Kenyon Cox, Charles Francis Browne, Ralph Elmer Clarkson, Harry Mills Walcott, and Joaquin Sorollo y Bastida. Travis worked briefly thereafter as a commercial artist and as an instructor at the Chicago Commercial Art School.
In 1924 Travis moved to Dallas with his wife, Kathryne Hail Travis, one of his former students whom he had married in 1916. In 1926, with James Wadden, the couple founded the Dallas Art Institute and later, in Cass, Arkansas, the Ozark Summer School of Painting, which they operated for three summers. Kathryn and Olin Travis were divorced in1934. His second wife was Josephine Oliver.
For many years Olin Travis was head of the Dallas Art Institute (1926-41). He painted along the Texas coast on several trips around 1930, and in the summer of 1933 he traveled to West Texas in Frank Reaugh's sketching caravan. Travis taught two years as a guest instructor at the Hockaday School, Dallas, two years at the San Antonio Art Institute (1944-45), and a year at Austin College, Sherman (1951). He also taught several summers at the Texas Artists Camp at Christoval. A Prolific Painter, he recorded landscapes, Dallas scenes, and figures from the 1920s untill his death in Dallas. The Dallas Public Library's Technicolor film titled Olin Travis: A Visit to His Studio shows the artist at work and many of his paintings.
Exhibitions: Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth (1914-18,1920, 1923-28, 1933, 1936-37); Annual Exhibition of the State Fair of Texas, Dallas (1915, 1920-22, 1924-25, 1933-34, 1939); Annual Exhibition of Texas Artist, Dallas Woman's Forum (1916,1917 prize, 1920, 1929, 1932); Dallas Art Association (1923); Waxahachie Art Association (1924); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1925 one-man); Texas Artists Exhibition, San Antonio Art League (1926); Exhibition of Texas Artists, Nashville (Tennessee) Museum of Art (1927 prize); Annual Allied Arts Exhibition, Dallas (1928 awards and honorable mention,1929, 1930 honors, 1932, 1933 award, 1935, 1938, 1941, 1949-50); Southern States Art League Annual Exhibition (1928, 1930-31,1934); Annual Texas Artists Circuit Exhibition (1928-29); Annual Texas Cotton Palace Exposition, Waco (1929); Five Texas Painters, Highland Park Society of Arts, Dallas (1929); Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, Denver (1930); Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (1932, 1934, and 1940 one-man); Artist from Sixteen Cities Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1933); Dallas Art Institute (1934 one-man); Dallas Painters in Oils (1935), Fifty Years of Painting in Dallas (1953 retrospective), Seventy-Five Years of Art in Dallas (1978), Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas (1936); National Exhibition of American Art, Rockefeller Center, New York (1936, 1938); Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition, Dallas (1937); Lone Star Printmakers Circuit Exhibition (1938, 1940); Golden Gate International Expositition, San Francisco (1939-40); Texas General Exhibition (1943-44, 1946); Annual Texas Print Exhibition, Dallas (1943-44); Texas Panorama Exhibition, Dallas Museum, of Fine Arts (1943) and American Federation of Arts (1944 traveling exhibition); Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio (1944 one-man); Corpus Christi Caller-Times Annual Exhibition (1944-45); Exhibition of Prints from the Corpus Christi Art Foundation Permanent Collection, Centennial Museum, Corpus Christi (1948); Southwestern Prints and Drawings Annual Exhibition, Dallas (1949, 1952); Texas Painting and Sculpture Annual Exhibition (1952 award, 1953 award, 1955 award, 1959); Texas Painting and Sculpture: The 20th Century, Owen Art Center, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (1971 traveling exhibition); Texas by Texans, Texas House of Representatives Chamber, Austin (1974); Dupree Gallery, Irving (1974 one-man); Twentieth Century Prints by Texas Printmakers, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin (1983); The Texas Landscape, 1900-1986, Musemun of Fine Arts, Houston (1986); Painters of Texas 1900-1950, Museums of Abilene (1989); Survey of Texas Artists 1890-1990, Longview Museum and Arts Center (1991); Images of Texas 1880-1950, Art Center, Waco (1994); Hock Shop Collection: Rediscovering Texas Artists of the Past, Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine (1997);Visions of Texas: 1900-1950 (1997), Oil Patch Dreams (1998 traveling exhibition), Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont; Painting in Dallas 1889-1945, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas (1999).
Murals: Dallas Morning-News Building (assisting Perry Nichols); Love Field terminal, Long Junior High School, and Hall of State, Fair Park, Dallas; Galvez Hotel, Galveston.
Collections: Elisabeth Ney Museum and Texas Fine Arts Association, Austin; South Texas Institute for the Arts, Corpus Christi; Dallas Historical Society; Dallas Independent School District; Dallas Museum of Art; Highland Park Art Gallery and Museum of Natural History, Dallas; Torch Collection, Torch Collection, Torch Energy Advisors, Inc., Houston; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio.
Affiliations: American Artists Professional League; American Federation of Arts; Chicago Society of Artist; Dallas Art Association; Federation of Dallas Artists; Highland Park Society of Arts, Dallas; Lone Star Printmakers; Southern States Art League (founding member); Texas Fine Arts Association.