Clifford Gleason: The Promise of Paint

August 20 – October 31, 2020

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery and the Maribeth Collins Lobby


Clifford Gleason (American, 1913-1978), who grew up in Salem and spent his adult life in both Salem and Portland, was a talented and highly original artist whose work remains of keen interest to a small but loyal group of collectors and fellow artists but whose accomplishments are less generally known than those of other Oregon mid-twentieth-century modernists. 

Organized by professor emeritus and guest curator Roger Hull, Clifford Gleason: The Promise of Paint is the first major retrospective exhibition of Gleason’s work. Often described as “an artist’s artist,” the exhibition will trace his career from the 1930s until the last months of his difficult life—difficult because of alcoholism, near poverty, and homosexuality in a repressive era. In paint, Gleason found the only realm in which he felt competent, confident, and successful; paint offered the promise of accomplishment.

The exhibition will also include a hardcover book written by Hull that chronicles Gleason’s career and places his work within the broader context of contemporary and Pacific Northwest art.


Exhibition Monograph

Clifford Gleason: The Promise of Paint
Essay © 2020 by Roger Hull
96 pp., hardcover, color illustrations
© 2020 by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art 
Distributed by Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR

call 503-370-6855 (Tuesday-Saturday | noon-5p.m.)

• Shipping (additional $5 charge)
• Curbside pickup is also available during regular museum hours

Financial Support

Clifford Gleason: The Promise of Paint has been supported in part by gifts from the Wyss Foundation and an anonymous donor; with funds from the HFMA Exhibition Fund, the Maribeth Collins Art Exhibition Fund, and the Hallie Ford Exhibition Fund; and by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission. Advertising support has been provided by the Oregon ArtsWatch Full Circle Fund. 

Image not available

Clifford Gleason, “Still Life with Spools,” ca. 1939

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