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James Boren

Birth place or City of origin: Waxahachie
State of origin: TX
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1921
Death/End date: 1990

A teacher, an illustrator and the first art director of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1965, James Boren was a renowned watercolor painter of western scenes and member of the Cowboy Artists of America. Born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of a minister. James became a full time painter beginning in 1968. He won numerous awards during his lifetime his paintings reflecting his belief that the cowboy had the star role in the drama of the West - the most beautiful country anywhere.

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James Boren and his work have served the cause of introducing art to a broad audience of people who were once intimidated by an elite art establishment. There is nothing pedantic about Boren, an open, honest man, and these qualities are reflected in his work.

A native Texan, he received a master’s degree in fine art from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1951. He taught art for a while and then spent two years traveling in Alaska painting landscapes that he had never imagined during his boyhood in a small Texas town. He continued to develop his technique in his favorite medium of watercolor while doing commercial artwork in Denver.

In 1965, Boren became the first art director of the newly opened National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Here, among masterpieces of early western, he was inspired to pursue his own fine art ambitions. The young association of western artists, exhibited annually at the Cowboy Hall. Boren was given membership in the group and soon after gave up his position as art director and began to paint full-time. He has been the dominant force in the field of western watercolor ever since.

A noted watercolor painter of western scenes and member of the Cowboy Artists of America, James Boren was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of a minister.

He knew as a teenager that he wanted to be an illustrator but his schooling at Southwestern College was interrupted by military service in the Marines. After the war in 1951, he earned his M F A from the Kansas City Art Institute and then taught for two years at St. Mary's College.

In 1959, he began selling cowboy paintings, and in 1964, he became Art Director of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. He loved that job because he met so many of the artists he admired. He first exhibited there in 1969 and sold thirty-eight of the forty paintings. This success gave him the confidence to be a full-time painter.

He was named Texas State Artist of the Year, and as a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, won the gold medal in watercolor seven times.


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James Boren was born in Waxahachie, Texas. He lived most of his life in Clifton, Texas. He was a teacher, an illustrator and the first art director of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1965. He became a full time painter beginning in 1968. His biography was published in 1968 and titled James Boren: A Study in Discipline.

He won numerous awards during his lifetime at the annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibitions. He felt that the cowboy had the star role in the drama of the West - the most beautiful country anywhere.

 

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