Dr. Robert Rogan, Exceptional Modern Artist, Professor and Mentor - Photos of Paintings
Writing about Dr. Robert Rogan (who is known to family members as Bob) is near and dear to my heart. Sharing some information about this extraordinary man who is my husband's great uncle through marriage is my great pleasure for this my 200th post on HubPages. He is truly not only a talented artist and professor but has been a mentor and exceptional person to many who have been fortunate enough to have crossed his path.
My husband was about 4 or 5 years old when Bob's wife Ann introduced him to family members at a family gathering in Iowa.
Ann was the youngest sibling to my husband's maternal grandmother and my husband's mother was only about 7 years younger so they were almost raised as sisters. Thus the relationship was close.
Academic Experience and Education History
Robert Rogan had midwestern roots (as did my husband's family) and started his academic career as an instructor at Fort Dodge Junior College in 1950.
He received his Bachelor of Art degree from Washburn University in 1948 and followed that with a Masters of Fine Art degree from the University of Iowa in 1950. In 1964 Robert Rogan attained his Doctorate degree in Education at the University of Kansas.
His career path led him to the following institutions:
- Instructor at the University of Nebraska, Omaha from 1951 - 1954.
- Professor of Art at Central Missouri State University from 1954 - 1959.
- Instructor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence from 1959 - 1961.
- And finally Dr. Rogan was a Professor of Art and the Department Head at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas from 1961 to 1990 when he retired from his long and satisfying academic career.
In the colorful slightly abstracted painting below a piece of farm equipment sits in the farmer's field ready to do the work of tilling the ground for the planting of crops.
My husband credits his great uncle Bob with first introducing him to art and cultivating his interest in art appreciation.
My husband's dad had died when my husband was still a toddler. His mother had relocated to San Antonio, Texas from Iowa and was busy earning a living as a pharmacist.
When Ann and Bob would visit family members in San Antonio often Bob would take my husband and his two boys to McNay Art Institute and other museums for a fun daytime outing.
Because of Bob's genuine enthusiasm as well as knowledge of the subject matter, artistic creations came alive in my husband's mind and were no longer merely static canvasses of color adorning walls but became something much more. Each and every piece told a story no matter which art medium was utilized.
In the lithograph and painting shown above, both of which are now displayed in the William Reaves Fine Art Gallery in Houston, Texas, can you see the influence of Dr. Rogan's mid-west background?
One might well imagine a Kansas farm scape in that lithograph after all the leaves have fallen off of the trees in the fall of the year.
Different Styles of Painting
Most artists like to experiment with different styles of artistic expression. Being a professor of art Bob Rogan would have had additional reasons for experimentation. After all he was a teacher!
In a few of his paintings he used the dribble or drip approach that Jackson Pollock made famous. This was not his usual style of expression but it made for some interesting canvasses.
Look at the closeup photos of the paintings Dr. Rogan produced below to see that type of application to addressing a blank canvas.
The first time I got to visit Ann and Bob at their home in Beaumont I was fascinated!
Not only were they both warm, welcoming, intelligent and genuinely nice people but as a person who has dabbled with creating art most of my life (although my professional training took me in another direction...that of becoming a nurse) here was a living and breathing art gallery.
Every room of their home held another wonderful collection of creations. I took some photos and wish now that I had taken even more.
Most interesting of all was Bob's art studio! He had converted his garage which was filled to the brim with primarily his own creations many of the canvasses simply stacked one against another. There was simply not enough room on the walls to hold everything.
In addition some paintings and works of art that had been given to him by his students throughout the years helped fill the walls with a vibrant mix of colors and styles.
Easels, vast collections of brushes and other artist supplies were also intermixed with the works of art. Some works were still in progress. It was quite simply a wonderland and feast for the senses!
Robert Rogan's art studio in his homeClick thumbnail to view full-size
As much as Robert Rogan loved and still loves creating art he admitted to my husband one day that he loved teaching it even more. He loved opening this vast world of artistic expression and helping students explore it while on their journey to becoming artists in their own right.
Serving as an instructor Dr. Rogan became a mentor to many of his students who thought the world of this warm and gentle man. Several of his students have gone on to receive accolades and at least one has even published an art book. Bob still has some former students that make the time out of their busy schedules to personally visit him even though it has been years since he headed the art department at Lamar University.
My husband has personally met several former students of his great uncle's who have personally attested to feelings of great admiration for their former professor.
The painting of doves pictured below was my mother-in-law's favorite painting of Bob's which used to hang in the Rogan's living room.
For many years Bob would display some of his art in different exhibitions at museums and universities and other venues even winning prizes but he truly hated to sell his works. Occasionally he would let a piece go and then wish that he had kept it. They were like his babies each and every one near and dear to his heart.
Once he made the decision to start letting some of his pieces go suddenly the word spread like wildfire and people started literally knocking on his door to collect his works. Much of what has been pictured in this post may or may not be available any longer.
The very first piece of Rogan's work that was sold at the William Reaves Fine Arts gallery in Houston at their Three Professors At Work exhibition in June - July of 2008 was this favorite painting of my mother-in-laws. It actually had a red dot (sold sticker) on it prior to the official opening of the exhibit!
I am happy that I had taken a photo of it and can remember it visually in addition to having just a fond memory of that particular painting. Hopefully the new owner appreciates it as much and has found a prime spot in his or her home in which to display this fine piece of art.
The photos taken below as they were displayed in the William Reaves Art Gallery show an abstracted nude mingling amidst other works of Bob's. That voluptuous nude painting used to hang in the Rogan bedroom and Bob had told us that it was his abstracted interpretation of his beloved wife Ann.
What an outstanding tribute to their love and long marriage that has surpassed the Golden Anniversary (50 years of marriage) some time ago!
Inspiration for Robert Rogan paintings has come from many everyday surrounding sources. Beaumont, Texas has an active shipping industry and cranes hoisting supplies of all types on and off of ships is a commonplace activity.
Can you see that in this painting exhibited below? Notice the reflections in the water? Or do you see farm equipment during harvest time?
Robert Rogan painting
What do you see in the painting above?
Despite the fact that I am mostly a self taught artist, Bob's interest in what I have accomplished has always seemed genuine. It is no wonder that his former students still enjoy visiting with him. With so much of his life having been immersed in the field of art and with the many years devoted to teaching others about art this is a subject and discussion that he relishes.
If we only lived closer it would have been fun to have spent some time with him while he works in his home studio. We saw a canvas in progress with a fairly realistic grouping of flowers that he intended to work towards making them more abstract in nature. Watching him work would have been a priceless education in and of itself.
Hearing stories about some of the mediums he has utilized through the years was interesting. At one point automotive paints were used and created amazingly rich colors until it was discovered decades later that this type of paint could be toxic.
Obviously this medium was discontinued but the canvasses already painted were wonderful!
In my husband's early paper industry career he used to travel from Houston to Beaumont and Port Arthur every two weeks making sales calls. He always made a point of stopping in to see and visit with his great aunt and uncle. They shared many a dinner together in the Rogan home. He fondly remembers those days!
As he got promoted and eventually ended up running a paper company those travel days to that part of the world ended but his memories will be relished forever. While the visits may have been less frequent the genuine affection remains strong.
The picture above shows Bob petting our dog Reggie in my mother-in-law's home in San Antonio. My husband is standing next to Bob and the year was 1989. He and his wife Ann had traveled from Beaumont to San Antonio for a visit and we traveled from Houston in order to be able to see them.
Hopefully by seeing a few of Robert Rogan's art creations you have gained some insight into this gentleman's artistic genius.
While Bob has created different types of art using different mediums throughout his long and successful art career culminating in his long employment as head of the Art Department at Lamar University in Beaumont the style of the majority of his paintings is most recognizable as being a distinctive Robert Rogan creation.
William Reaves Fine Arts represents his work and is located at 2143 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77098. Telephone: 713-521-7500
It has been my great honor and pleasure to have shed some extra light upon this noted and exceptional artist, professor, mentor and person that we know and love as not only a family member but friend who encompasses all the qualities one would seek in such an individual were you fortunate enough to know him as we do.
Location of William Reaves Fine Art Gallery where Dr. Rogan's art can be found.
© 2010 Peggy Woods