Ralph De Burgos

Ralph De Burgos
American, 1906–1979
The Eyes Have It, 1972
36 H. x 36 W. inches
Acrylic painting on canvas
Signed and titled on verso

Artist Description

Ralph De Burgos was a well known Washington D.C artist who served as President of the Society of Washington Artists, close affiliates with the Washington Color School.  The present work is highly reminiscent of this circle of artists, and while de Burgos was never officially associated, he was undoubtedly inspired by his contemporaries.

De Burgos had settled in Washington DC in 1946 after serving in World War II as a combat artist with the Coast Guard in the Pacific, then joining the faculty of the Washington Workshop. Shortly thereafter, he opened the De Burgos School of Art in Georgetown and assumed a second location in Falls Church in 1955. The year that this painting was executed (1972), De Burgos closed his Georgetown school and focused on the Falls Church location for his remaining years. During his childhood, he was exposed to different cultures as his father was from Spain and his mother was from France. De Burgos was born in Shanghai, moving from there to Kobe, Japan, where he began studying arts at a missionary school. Once he and his family had immigrated to the United States, he spent 10 years in New York City continuing his artistic studies, attending the National Academy of Design, the Arts Students League, and the School of Industrial Arts. His works have been featured in the Capitol, multiple U.S. embassies, and he is credited with a mural in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC.

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