Roff Beman: Paintings
ROFF BEMAN This memorial exhibition of his work will be the first one-man exhibit of paintings by an artist who was born, lived all his life in this University Community and developed his work here.
His untimely death, a year ago last summer, cut short the continuous production of the mature and highly developed work of one of the most significant Chicago artists of his time. Also the influence of one whose interest in the work of other artists had a far reaching effect in the development of their work.
He was born at Fifty-second Street and Harper Avenue, the son of S. S. Beman, the Chicago architect who designed the then model city of Pullman, numerous Christian Science churches, among them the First Church in Boston, and notable buildings here in the Loop.
He was educated at Harvard and the Art Institute of Chicago, studied printing and architecture, and under the influences of his mother, and accomplished amateur, also studied music throughout his life and was a fine violinist.
He pursued his studies of art and architecture in Europe, and then served in France during the first World War, where be was badly gassed. After the was he worked as an architectural draftsman, and, although he continued to follow his interest in painting, could not give his whole time to it, and felt great frustration. In about 1930 however, this became possible, and from this time to his death he worked intensively. No one was more successful in recording the atmosphere and characteristics of Chicago. Even though still-lifes and interiors the color and tempo of the city are expressed. Love of nature and the country, a feeling for the soil is shown in his simple landscapes of bleak winter fields and plowed earth.
All the paintings shown have been borrowed from his family, private collectors and the Illinois W.P.A. Art Project for which he painted continuously from its beginning.
He is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, numerous private collections, and much of his work, done under the auspices of the Art Program has been allocated and hangs in public buildings throughout the country.
This text was taken from the exhibition release.