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Edward Corbett
(1919 - 1971)

Untitled #6
Casein and crayon
on art board
Framed in 22kt. gold leaf and matted
21" x 27"

San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949 group show
San Francisco Museum
of Art label verso

Edward Corbett (1919-1971)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1919, Edward Corbett began art studies at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. During World War II, he was drafted into the army and merchant marine. After his discharge, he spent a year in New York, then returned to California to teach at San Francisco State College. He taught at the California School of Fine Arts for five years, along with Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Richard Diebenkorn.

In 1951, Corbett moved to Taos. The year after, his work was included in a group show titled 15 Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. San Francisco Museum of Art curator Susan Landauer commented that if he had remained in New York, he “might now be considered one of the better Abstract Expressionists.” Indeed, Corbett’s work stood out, even alongside the works of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Clyfford Still. Critic and Art News president Thomas Hess even called him “the most interesting new artist in the show.”

Despite the publicity that followed the exhibition, he left New York shortly after, moving to Massachusetts for a teaching position and spending his summers between Taos, New Mexico, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. He passed away in 1971 in Provincetown. His work has since been added to the White House collection and is collected by most major institutions.


Partial List of Collections

Museum of Modern Art, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art
Smithsonian Institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
National Gallery of Art
White House Collection


Selected Exhibitions

Museum of Modern Art, NY 1952
Grace Borgenicht Gallery, NY 1956
Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA 199

 Pat Wall Gallery, Monterey, 1946; 

68th Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association at the San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949; 

La Galeria Escondido, Taos, 1951; 

Action 1 , Merry-Go-Round Building, Santa Monica Pier, 1955; 

Borgenicht Gallery, New York, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968; 

Massachusetts of Technology, 1959; 

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1961; 

San Francisco Museum of Art, 1969; 

The Oakland Museum, California. A Period of Exploration: San Francisco 1945-1950; 1973; 

University of Maryland Art Gallery, 1979; 

San Francisco Museum of Art, Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era 1976; 

Richmond Art Center, 1990; 

Laguna Art Museum & San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, 1996.

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