David Brownlow, who taught himself to paint by reading art books, earned
a permanent spot in North Texas Art history as a member of the Fort
Worth Circle. His work is included in the collections of the Modern Art
Museum of Fort Worth, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Amarillo Museum of
Art and several others.
The Fort Worth Circle was a group of painters who transformed the
region’s art scene after World War II. Mr. Brownlow’s experimentation
led to success in producing modernist and abstract pieces, said Morris
Matson, a Fort Worth art collector and former City Council member.
He’s probably as widely collected as any Fort Worth artist because he
was so prolific,” Matson said. “Anybody that collects art in Fort Worth
knows who David Brownlow is.”
Born Feb. 18, 1915 Mr. Brownlow was raised on a farm in Tarrant County.
He began painting when he was about 4, said his daughter, Priscilla
Mr. Brownlow learned what he could from books in the Fort Worth Public
Library. He also received encouragement from his junior high school art
teacher and from studying local artist Pattie R. East’s work, according
to biographical information compiled by local art historian Scott Grant
During the war, Mr. Brownlow worked as a sheet metal fabricator at North
American Aviation in Grand Prairie, according to Barker. Later, he
worked in the engineering testing department at General Dynamics. He
quit in 1957 to devote himself full-time to art, McCall said.
Mr. Brownlow worked with palette knife. He was known for abstractions of
architectural forms, most often cathedrals but also cityscapes, oil
derricks and other subjects, according to Barker.
Mr. Brownlow was also a devoted husband, caring for his wife, Margie,
after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, McCall said.