In Memoriam: 2022 Obituaries in Glasstire

by Jessica Fuentes December 29, 2022

With the new year on the horizon, we take a moment to look back and reflect on the artists, curators, and art patrons we’ve lost this year. In 2022, we said goodbye to significant people who helped shape the Texas art world and beyond, including Linda and Ed Blackburn, Nancy Koen, Nancy Brown Negley, Francis Colpitt, and Pedro Rodriguez.

Below is a chronological list of obituaries that have appeared in Glasstire in 2022, with excerpts from the original articles.


A black and white photograph of Linda and Ed Blackburn sitting on a dark couch inside a home. Both sit in a relaxed style with legs outstretched and crossed. Photograph by Gay Block.

Gay Block, “Ed and Linda Blackburn, Fort Worth, Texas,” 1984, gelatin silver print. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of the Texas Historical Foundation with support from a major grant from the DuPont Company and Conoco, its energy subsidiary, and assistance from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts © Gay Block

Linda Blackburn, 1941 – 2022

Linda Blackburn, the respected Fort Worth-based artist, died suddenly of natural causes on January 1, 2022. Best known for her paintings inspired by Western films, Mrs. Blackburn has been an important voice in the Texas art scene for decades. Her work shifted over time from traditional portraiture to more abstracted paintings, and, more recently, painterly depictions of the West.


A photograph of artist John Wesley standing in front of three large paintings. He wears all black and holds his hands in front of him as he looks off into the distance. The paintings behind him each include two figures in bed. The figures are painted pink and set against pastel blue sheets.

John Wesley, Photo: Todd Heisler, The New York Times

John Wesley, 1928 – 2022

John Wesley, the New York-based painter with connections to Texas, died February 10, 2022 at the age of 93. Known for its flat, graphic style featuring a pastel palette of pinks, blues, and greens, Mr. Wesley’s work was unique and did not fit tidily into the categories often used to define art.

A black and white photograph of artist Carmen Herrera at age 33. She wears a short sleeve black dress and sits in a chair with one arm across her knee and one resting on the chair back. Her hair is pulled up away from her face and she looks into the camera with a serious tone.

Carmen Herrera, 1948. Photo by: Victor Laredo, courtesy of Lisson Gallery

Carmen Herrera, 1915 – 2022

Carmen Herrera, a Cuban-born abstract artist who gained fame in her late 80s, died on February 12, 2022 at the age of 106. Though Ms. Herrera’s artistic practice dates back to the early 1940s, her work was not widely acknowledged by the art world until the early 2000s. In 2021, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin commissioned Ms. Herrera to create a mural as part of a larger redesign of its outdoor spaces. 


A photograph of Nancy Koen by Hoyoung Le. Nancy looks up and to the side with a wide smile and bright eyes.

Nancy Koen. Photo by Hoyoung Le.

Nancy Koen, 1978 – 2022

Nancy Koen was a beloved presence in Dallas and beyond for many reasons, most recently for her role in running The Box Company with her husband and co-founder Jason Koen. In 2013, Ms. Koen co-created B STELLER, a modern jewelry design house, and in 2015 she was named a Dallas Culture Map’s Stylemaker Winner. In 2016 Mr. and Ms. Koen founded The Box Company, which has become known in Dallas for both its contemporary art space and its art services company. 

Tom Moody, c.1960s – 2022

Tom Moody, an artist, musician, and critic, died from COVID-19-related complications on March 19, 2022. Mr. Moody was a prolific artist who in many ways was ahead of the curve when it came to digital art. Best known for his low-tech art created using simple programs, Mr. Moody was also an early blogger who maintained multiple sites and contributed to many online communities. 


A black and white photograph of Oliver Franklin. He wears a dark jacket and looks to the side with his face almost in a full side profile.

Oliver Franklin

Oliver Franklin, 1961 – 2022

Oliver Franklin, the site director for the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, Texas, died on April 4, 2022 at the age of 60. During his time at the institution, he brought innovative programming that paired contemporary artists with the historic site. Over nearly a decade, Mr. Franklin presented works by more than ninety female artists, most of whom worked in sculpture.


A photograph of Nancy Brown Negley. She looks straight into the camera with a wide smile.

Nancy Brown Negley

Nancy Brown Negley, 1927 – 2022

Nancy Brown Negley, a Houston artist and philanthropist who founded the Dora Maar House residency program in Ménerbes, France, died on July 16, 2022. Throughout her life, Mrs. Negley was involved with cultural organizations in Texas and beyond. She was a founding trustee of the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, which was established in 1965. In 1975, she was elected President of the San Antonio Conservation Society. In 1977, she was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to serve a two-year term as a member of the National Museum Services Board.

Ed Blackburn, seated in front of a painting in progress.

Ed Blackburn, seated in front of a painting in progress. Courtesy of Rachael Blackburn Cozad.

Ed Blackburn, 1940 – 2022

A significant presence in the art world since the 1970s, Edward (Ed) Madison Blackburn III died peacefully of natural causes on July 31, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife, the artist Linda Blackburn, on January 2, 2022. Mr. Blackburn was primarily known as a painter, but he also worked as a printmaker, writer, poet, musician, and filmmaker. While he is most closely associated with the Photorealism and pop art movements, and his work frequently employed images from various types of popular media (including many pieces which draw on film stills), overall his work defies categorization.


A photograph of Devon Christopher Moore standing in front of a work of art and smiling as he looks off camera.

Devon Christopher Moore. Photo by Myke Toman. Ⓒ Toman Imagery

Devon Christopher Moore, 1970 – 2022

Devon Christopher Moore, artist and founder/owner of Houston’s DCM Art Services, died on Monday, August 22, 2022. DCM Art Services is known for providing an array of services, such as installation, crating, transportation, and storage of artworks for clients across Houston, as well as surrounding cities and states. The company works with private collectors, galleries, and museums, including Art League Houston, Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art, Moody Gallery, and the Menil Collection.


A photograph of Frances Colpitt (2009) in front of a John Miller painting in her home.

Frances Colpitt (2009) in front of a John Miller painting in her home.

Frances Colpitt, 1952 – 2022

Dr. Frances Colpitt, the renowned art historian, writer, educator, critic, and curator, died in her home in Fort Worth on Monday, September 12, 2022. After recently retiring from her position as the Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History at Texas Christian University (TCU) and being named Professor Emerita at the school, Dr. Colpitt was in the process of writing her third book. As one of the preeminent voices on minimal art, Dr. Colpitt has left an immeasurable legacy on the art world, here in Texas and beyond.

A photograph of Deborah Grotfeldt.

Deborah Grotfeldt

Deborah Grotfeldt, 1950 – 2022

Deborah Grotfeldt, an important figure in the Houston arts scene, died on September 30, 2022. From 1986 to 1993, she served as Assistant Director of DiverseWorks, a multidisciplinary art organization that commissions, produces, and presents innovative work. Then, from 1993 to 2004, she served as the first executive director of Project Row Houses. In that role, she worked alongside the founding artists and helped establish some of the organization’s core programs. Later, she took on the role of Director of Advancement for Houston Public Media. For the last eight years, Ms. Grotfeldt supported nonprofit organizations to raise funds, train staff, and develop projects. 


A photograph of Frances Marzio standing in front of large scale antiquities.

Frances Marzio. Photo credit: Houston Chronicle, photographer Steve Ueckert

Frances Parker Marzio, 1947 – 2022

Frances Parker Marzio, Curator Emerita of the Glassell Collections, Africa, Oceania, the Americas, and Antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and widow of MFAH director Peter Marzio, died on October 21, 2022. From the early 1990s through 2016, Mrs. Marzio served as the MFAH’s curator of antiquities. Along with her curatorial position at the museum, Mrs. Marzio also served as an aide to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, she was a trustee of the Houston Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. 


A photograph of artist Tony Magar in his studio.

Tony Magar

Tony Magar, 1936 – 2022

Tony Magar, a London-born Texas-based sculptor and painter died on November 22, 2022. Born Anthony Gordon McGhan, Mr. Magar kept much of his early life private. As a young man he served in the British Merchant Marines, and then worked as an actor and hairdresser prior to his career in the visual arts. In 1960, he worked as an assistant to Mark di Suvero and soon began to create his own metal sculptures. His work was exhibited alongside Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, John Chamberlain, and Claud Oldenburg in New Forms – New Media I and II at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City. Mr. Magar was a co-founder of the Park Place Gallery cooperative, which operated from 1963 to 1967. He later moved to Taos, where he spent 30 years painting. During this time he split his residence between Houston and Taos. In the last decade of his life, he lived in Portland, Texas, just outside of Corpus Christi.


A photograph of Pedro Rodriguez at an event hosted at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Pedro Rodriguez. Photo courtesy Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Pedro Rodriguez, 1936 – 2022

Pedro Rodriguez, a San Antonio arts administrator, professor, activist, and artist, died on December 1, 2022 at the age of 86. Perhaps best known in Texas as an early and long-time director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Mr. Rodriguez was a leader in the Chicano rights movement and brought Chicano Studies programs to universities in New Mexico and Washington. 

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: