Richard Stout, a preeminent and beloved Texas artist has died. Born in Beaumont in 1934, Stout passed away at his home in Houston on Sunday. He was 85.
“Richard was a wonderful artist and friend of fifty years, and I’m going to miss him terribly,” says Betty Moody, owner and founder of Houston’s Moody Gallery, in a telephone conversation with Glasstire. “He was a very smart man, a consummate artist, and painter, and one of the best we’ve ever had. I know he’s been ill for a good while. The sad thing is now there’s no way we can gather to celebrate his life.”
According to Moody, Stout died peacefully in his sleep. She also talked about Stout’s time as a teacher at University of Houston, where he taught for 25 years and mentored countless artists, and how much he supported those artists.
Represented by Foltz Fine Art in Houston, Stout has of course been featured on Glasstire many times, including as the subject of a video profile in 2018. In a review of Stout’s exhibition A Sense of Home, Glasstire contributor Hannah Dean writes:
“In touring Stout’s memories of place, ‘home,’ specifically, it is impossible to untie the link between the warm and the empty in his renderings of doorways and chairs, delivered visually from a child’s perspective (both gleaned in the exhibition quotes and the low eye-line of the painting’s interiors. The lines on the doors or shelves only tilt upwards or are level, placing the viewer below them, especially evident in ‘When I Was Young;). There’s a lonesomeness in looking out through a window to the sea. Perhaps we are waiting on someone who won’t come home, or for another devastating storm, or for the gods themselves to descend and swallow us whole.”
Another friend, Randy Tibbits, the Coordinator of Houston Earlier Texas Art Group (HETAG), wrote in an email to Glasstire: “Richard’s death means that one of the greats of Houston art — and of art anywhere — is no longer with us, but his art, which was so fundamental in his own life, and is such a joy in ours, remains — art that is supremely beautiful and compelling, even through tears.”
Stout was a student of Kathleen Blakshear at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s. “He was moved throughout his career by the landscape of the Gulf Coast and the landscape of family and other human connections, and the way both shape artists and others alike,” says Tibbits.
In 2004, Stout was the recipient of Art League Houston’s Texas Artist of the Year. “His life and presence left an indelible impact on the ALH community and on so many of us personally. He will be greatly missed,” a post on ALH’s Facebook page states.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that the Houston art world lost one of its finest yesterday,” a post on Foltz’s Facebook page states. “Always a gentleman and a hell of an artist, Stout helped to put Houston on the art world map starting in the 1950s, upon his return to Texas after attending the Art Institute of Chicago. It is hard to comprehend this loss right now amidst all the uncertainty in our world, but a formal celebration of his life and memory will follow in the coming weeks.”
Richard Stout is survived by his children Stefan and Claire Turner as well as their spouses Nesrin Stout and Sean Turner, his grandchildren Sean, Glenn Thomas and Mary Bess Turner. He is also survived by Emma Ann and Louisa Dilara Stout. The Houston Chronicle writes that the family “hopes to co-host a celebration of the artist’s life at Sarah Foltz Fine Art in the fall.”
First met Mr. Stout at one of Sandy Boccara’s salons in memory of her husband Laurent, 2003 or 2004. Would re-introduce myself whenever i would see him at Danton’s having lunch. He always was so gracious and accommodating; always called me ‘young man’. He was a beautiful classical painter and an impeccable gentleman. He will be missed.
Richard Stout was one of my art teachers at UH between 1966 and 1969. He tried his best to teach me to draw. We had a few clashes at the time but later he treated me as a friend. I appreciated that he chose not to remember the immature me who missed a chance to learn a great deal from a consummate artist. I wish I had the chance again.
I also was a student of Richard’s and appreciated all of his time and patience. Over the years Richard was always there at openings and lectures and wed run into each other at HEB often in the mornings. He always had a nice word and would ask how my art was going. He was the most inspirational teacher that I had and spent more time than most of my other teachers mentoring on the craft and seemed to really care about my work. I’ll miss him greatly.
Richard Stout was one of the classiest and most intelligent human beings I have ever known. He was an excellent mentor to me as a grad student at UH. I will miss you Richard. Say hi to Michelangelo.
Richard Stout was an original artist with his own original vision and did not co-op a style like the other artists from texas. As a teacher he shared his insight and wisdom with the students. I think he was a humble man.
I had a very uplifting conversation with Mr. Stout about one of his paintings that I acquired several years ago from the estate of a friend of his. He was helpful with information about the painting and generous with his time. He also had an infectious laugh. I would be happy to lend my painting to your exhibit. Condolences to his family.
I knew Richard from several perspectives. I worked at Meredith Long Gallery and knew him as an artist being represented there which led me to stretching canvases for him (as well as John Alexander and Dorothy Hood). That relationship led me to the University of Houston where he was not only my art teacher, but I worked with him opening the Blaffer Gallery for its first season. He was a tireless worker, thoughtful and always a gentleman. RIP, Richard…you left your impressive mark, and you will be remembered.
— Jim Davidson, Austin TX