Gallery Artists > Melvin Warren Biography :

Melvin Warren (1920 - 1995)  Artworks >>

Organizations* : CAA

Melvin Warren was born in Los Angeles, California in 1920, and lived as a child on ranches throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Settling in Texas at age fourteen, Warren was surrounded by the beauty of the Southwest. The lure of that rugged and majestic land stimulated his boyhood desire to be an artist. After service in World War II, Warren entered Texas Christian University and received a degree in fine arts. Warren continued his art education by studying under Samuel Ziegler.

In the best tradition of commercial artwork, Warren spent his evenings painting out the western fantasies that crowded his mind. The subtle sensitivity to his subject matter and an obvious control of the technical elements of painting made his work readily acceptable to a broad range of collectors. He became a special favorite of Lyndon Johnson, who ultimately acquired many Warren oils.

For Western art to achieve the distinction of fine art, it must first satisfy artistic criteria, and only then deal with the particularity of western subject matter. Warren’s art shows an understanding of this concept. His work remains an accomplished artistic statement that also presents images faithful to western reality. His palette focused on earth tones: browns, reds, yellows, while his subject matter represents the history of the West, such as cattle trails and frontier forts.

Warren was a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, an exclusive group of artists who focus on Western art by western artists. His work is extensively exhibited at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is housed at the LBJ Library in Austin.

Reference: The American West: Legendary Artists of the Frontier, edited by Dr. Rick Stewart,

  • CAA = Cowboy Artists of America
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