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Allen Tupper True: A Western Muralist

January 14, 2010

It’s not often I find an old artist who captures my imagination.  Allen Tupper True was a Colorado artist whose career began in illustration and easel paint, but then became focused on murals.

True was greatly influenced by muralist, Frank Brangwyn.   Some of his easel paintings could easily be mistaken for a Brangwyn painting, in both composition and style.  I also see quite a few similarities in True’s to the composition and approach of another muralist Dean Cornwell, who was also influenced by Brangwyn.

To see images and more information visit the Allen Tupper True website.

You can purchase the book at Amazon here.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2010 10:58 am

    I appreciate your interest in my grandfather, Allen Tupper True. I would like to correct a couple of statements, however. He was not influenced by Dean Cornwell and as far as I know was not aware of his work at all. The Museum of the Rockies had absolutely nothing to do with the three exhibits that are open now in Denver at the Denver Art Museum, Main Public Library and Colorado History Museum and will be touring as one smaller exhibit beginning the end of April this year. MOR only co-published the biography of True (the cover of which you show above) with my company Canyon Leap. When I clicked on ” a small website with images” it went to my Allen Tupper True blog not American Artist Magazine. Thank you for linking the True blog to your site by “Allen Tupper True.”

    • January 15, 2010 11:48 am

      Victoria, thank you for the corrections. I’ve updated the post with the new information. I suspect your grandfather knew of Cornwell because I do see some similarities to his mural style, and it’s possible Cornwell was influenced by True. The muralists were a small community and given the monumental nature of their work they tended to research other muralists to see how they approached this unique artform. But even so, I could be wrong about the Cornwell influence. It’s certainly not as strong as the Brangwyn influence, who was the grandaddy of modern mural work in his day. Thank you for your efforts in bringing your grandfathers work into the public eye. He was certainly an artist who made a unique and wonderful mark.

      • January 15, 2010 3:52 pm

        Todd, You are most welcome. It is interesting that this site has credited Cornwell with two mural studies for the LA Library (1933) which are almost exact replicas of Brangwyn’s murals that my grandfather worked on for the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915 and are now in the Herbst Theatre in SF!: http://www.americanartarchives.com/cornwell.htm There is a photo of Cornwell’s LA Library mural in the LA Library article on Wikipedia that is totally different – so the american art archives site might have Brangwyn’s up by mistake.
        According to the information I have, Cornwell studied with and assisted Brangwyn 1926-1939, long after my grandfather did (1908, 1913-1914 & True assisted Brangwyn for the last time by installing his Missouri State Capitol murals in 1922-23), so again, I doubt they met and by the 1920s my grandfather’s style and techniques were firmly planted and no one influenced his work. Thanks for responding and correctly the information. Cheers, V

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