Lee Geary portrait

Old Mr. Geary

To the Old Mr. Geary is subtitled Mr. Landboss on the back of the oil painting. It is 18" x 22" high. I painted the portrait of Lee Geary on his death bed in 1959-1960. It is reproduced here with permission, from the collection of Wim Roefs and Eileen Waddell, Columbia, S.C.

With his long neck he looks like he's reaching for that last breath. But also like he's floating above it all. He looks so proud and aristocratic and free and handsome. Free at last. His body is sort of liquidly reposing, collapsing. I see the right eye slightly open under the lid. There's an awareness there. He might still be in charge.

In fact there's some feeling that he is looking down his nose at the world. When I was growing up, that was the way we characterized someone who thinks he is superior. But Mr. Geary is doing it with utter relaxation. It's not other people that he has surpassed, but the struggle of life itself. He holds his head high.

The strokes and draftsmanship are deft and sure and create real living forms on the surface.

There's much more to show for this period. As of now, the rest are linked from the Minneapolis front page.

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