Houston artist Edsel Cramer died on August 31, 2010. He was 86 years old. Born on May 6, 1924 at the old Jeff Davis Hospital in Houston, Cramer was known for his classically inspired portraits and landscapes. He painted many prominent Houstonians during his career, ranging from Adelaide de Menil (daughter of John and Dominique), to George W. Bush when the future president was a boy, to Rice University president Malcolm Gillis. His 1973 portrait of Barbara Jordan is in the collection at the Texas Capitol. Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students’ League in New York City, Cramer struggled with mid-century expectations of him as an African-American artist. In a 2006 interview he said "What [the instructors] wanted me to do was some primitive African stuff because I’m black. And my painting was more classical than everybody else." Memorial services have not yet been announced.
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