Local Color
Contemporary Art Gallery
Fredericksburg, Texas

Jack Ramsey

Oil Paintings

Review of Mr. Ramsey's Work by John Steinbeck (1960)

It is almost impossible to translate painting into words because painting itself is a language. Perhaps this is why so much futile and confusing nonsense is written about art.  Often it is the critics rather than the painters who are responsible for the obscurities.  A painting can and must speak for itself, and in its own tongue.

Here are some pictures by my friend and neighbor, Jack Ramsey. They are not at all alike.  What are they about? They are about everything - the observed world moulded and recreated by the mind, the emotions, and the imagination of the artist.  That's what painting is and that's all it is.  But, as with all art, the observer or the receiver must contribute his attention, and if possible his understanding if he is to be rewarded.  His reward will be in direct relation to the quality of his understanding.

Valley Gold
"Valley Gold"
Oil on Canvas - 21" x 21" (framed)
Below Sundown
"Below Sundown"
Oil on Canvas - 32" x 26" (framed)
There is no easy modern short-cut to painting.  It can't be coached nor rigged nor bribed no bought.  It must be honest or its treason shouts from the canvas.  Also it must be the child of wonder and curiosity and energy and high devotion.  Without these, it is a fake.

It has been my privilege to watch my friends, Jack and Daga, reduce the world to its ingredients of light, color, form and their relationships, and then rebuilding them with the tools of mind, imagination and unrelenting discipline until what sometimes emerges is new and wonderful, for painting is creation in its truest sense.  Something exists that did not exist before: a drop of water swells to a universe, the splash of sun on the curved shoulder of a bottle explodes to an ecstasy.

The viewer is no required to LIKE a painting any more than he must love any world.  But, if he can see and fell the creative joy, and sometimes despair, the probing experiment with shape and pigment, with distance and bulk, the colors lacing in and out like the harmonies and discords of music, he will be hearing the language of painting.

To me these pictures seethe with life and growth.  They are not complete.  No art ever is unless it is dead.  But each work is a brave becoming, a sharp question, an exploration in the little known countries of the world and the mind.

Potato Barn, Long Island
"Potato Barn, Long Island"
Oil on Canvas - 20" x 30" (framed)
Rocks in the Woods
"Rocks in the Woods"
Oil on Linen - 27" x 15" (framed)
In this time of mass produced things and people, far too many cover themselves with the garments of conformity and seek safety in the shallow tepid waters of mediocrity.  Therefore it is a great joy to me to hear the language on one who dives deep and takes his chances and who seeks in the outlands of his mind and spirit without fear of what he will find.

If I should not look and try to see in order to be aware of the language of these pictures, I would be robbing only myself, and that would be stupid.  I look at painting and try to understand what it says before I feel competent to agree or disagree with its communication.

- John Steinbeck

© Copyright Jack Ramsey 1960-2004, All rights reserved

Mornings at 7:00
"Mornings at 7:00"
Oil on Canvas - 21" x 21" (framed)


  • Born in Fort Worth, Texas.  Educated in Dallas and Stephenville, Texas.
  • College career interrupted by WW II.  Wounded in action twice as combat infantryman, European Theatre of Operations.  Three years service, U.S. Army.
  • Acting student at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, NYC. G.I. Bill for two years.  Graduated 1949.
  • Professional actor, stage and TV; Broadway, NYC, 1949-1960
  • Studied painting at National Academy of Design, N.Y.C.; The Art Students' League with Julien Levi, N.Y.C.; The Museum of Modern Art Landscape Class with Victor D'Amico, Long Island, N.Y.; Professional Class with Leo Manso, N.Y.C.
  • B.F.A. and M.F.A. Degrees in Painting, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI 1962, 1963
  • One Day Tutorial under Wolf Kahn, Great River Institute of Art, Walpole, New Hampshire, August 5, 2000.

Grants and Awards

  • 2002 Kerrville Art Club Monthly Competition, 1st Place/Oil, April
  • 2001 Honorable Mention Award/Oil 16th Annual Juried Kerrville Art Club Exhibition, Duncan-McAshan Visual Art Gallery, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX. February 18-March 18
  • 2000 2nd Place Award/Oil, 15th Annual Juried Kerrville Art Club Exhibition, Duncan-McAshan Visual Art Gallery, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX February 20-March 18
  • 1999 Best of Show Award, 14th Annual Juried Kerrville Art Club Exhibition, Duncan-McAshan Visual Art Gallery, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX February 20-March 20
  • 1971, 1969 Creative Arts Grant in Painting, Ossabaw Island Foundation (Ossabaw Island Project), Savannah, GA
  • 1967 Corwith Painting Award, The Parrish Museum of Art, Southampton, N.Y.
  • 1966 Purchase Merit Prize, 13th Atlanta Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA, (Best of Show)
  • 1965 Merit Prize, 12th Atlanta Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA, (Best of Show)
October Rio
"October Rio"
Oil on Canvas - 19" x 29" (framed)

Solo Exhibitions

  • June 7-24, 1985 The Goat Gallery, Sag Harbor, N.Y.
  • April-May, 1982 Lagerquist Gallery, Atlanta, GA
  • December-January, 1967 Monterey Gallery, Savannah, GA
  • May, 1967 Quinlan Art Center, Gainesville, GA
  • January, 1966 Gallery 4, Atlanta, GA

Joint Exhibitions with Daga Ramsey, Printmaker

  • 1975 Kathryn Burke Studio-Workshop, Atlanta, GA
  • 1974 E.C. Dickens Gallery, Dallas, TX
  • 1972 The Parish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
  • 1971 Gallery North, Setauket, NY
  • 1969 DeKalb College Art Center, Clarkston, GA
  • 1966 Jens Risom Gallery, Atlanta, GA
  • 1963 Hanamura's Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 1960 Haydon Calhoun Gallery, Dallas, TX

Selected Exhibitions

  • June 2-24, 2001 Four Contemporary Artists (Jack Ramsey, Mo Elmore, Rosanne Keller, Ken Malson), Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, Kerrville, Texas
  • July 4, 5, 6, 1997 Two-Person Show: Charled Fritts, Printmaker, and Jack Ramsey, Painter, Studio 3, Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, Texas
  • August 6-September 5, 1993 Three-Person Show (Jack Ramsey, Eleanore Van Ingen, Miram Dugenis), The Goat Alley Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY
  • August 1993-1968 Annual Artists of the Springs Invitational Show, The Springs, East Hampton, NY
  • June 1993-June 1980 725 Group Invitational (Sag Harbor Artists), The Goat Alley Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY
  • Memorial Day; July 4th; Labor Day, 1992-1989 Southampton Artists Association Exhibitions, Southampton, NY
  • September, 1983 Artists: Witnesses of Our Time The Goat Alley Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY (Invitational group)
  • September-October, 1982 The Enez Whipple Print and Drawing Collection, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY (drawing)
  • 1982-1963 Exhibited in numerous regionals and annuals in Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee and New York (Juried and Invitational)
  • January 12-February 2, 1974 The Artist and His Tools, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY (Invitational group show)

Selected Collections

  • Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
  • The Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL
  • William A. Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
  • Ossabaw Island Arts Collection, Savannah, GA
  • DeKalb College, Clarkston, GA
  • The Parrish Museum of Art, Southampton, NY
  • Guild Hall Museum, Eat Hampton, NY
  • Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Kolin, East Hampton, NY (Helena Rubenstein Foundation)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Neil Roberts, Spring Valley, NY
  • Mr. Hugh Latta, Atlanta, GA
  • Ms. Kathryn B. Burke, Atlanta, GA
  • Mr. Kathryn B. Burke, Atlanta, GA
  • Mr. Klas Winnberg, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Schroder, Luxembourg
  • The Hearst Corporation, N.Y., NY
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Bradley Bennet, Arlington, VA
  • Mr. William Dreher, NYC and East Hampton, NY
  • Ms. Priscilla Pattison, Lincolnville, ME
  • Mr. and Mrs. Larry Handley, North Chatam, MA
  • Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Shubin, Atlanta, GA
  • Mr. and Mrs. Clay Moore, Atlanta, GA


  • April; October, 1982 Painting Seminar, Ann Cushing Gantz Workshop, Dallas, TX (Lecture, Critique) 2-day seminar, October
  • 1981-1970 Studio and Landscape Painting Classes, Sag Harbor, NY
  • July-August, 1977 The Parrish Art Museum Summer Classes, Sag Harbor, NY
  • 1974-1964 Director, Ramsey Workshop Atlanta, GA
  • 1966-1964 Instructor of Painting, Quinlan Art Center, Gainesville, GA
  • 1966-1963 Instructor of Drawing and Painting (Studio and Landscape) Museum of Modern Art's Kearsarge Art Center, Amagansett, NY (June, July, August)
  • 1963-1961 Instructor, Life Class, Drawing and Painting, Bloomfield Hills Art Association, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Juror Activities

  • Nov. 18-Dec. 15, 2001 Regional Art Expo Annual
    The Hill Country Arts Foundation Gallery
    Ingram, TX
  • 1969 The Savannah Art Association
    Savannah, GA
  • 1965 Atlanta Arts Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    Fellow Juror: Joseph Perrin
    Head, Painting Department, Georgia State University
  • 1962 General Motors Art Club Show
    Drafting & Design Department
    GMAC, Detroit, MI
    Fellow Juror: Don Montano

Selected Bibliography

  • "Painter and Printmaker" Jack and Daga Ramsey, foreword by John Steinbeck, Exhibit Catalog, Haydon Calhoun Gallery, Dallas, TX 10-29, January, 1960
  • "Vision and Values": joint lecture--serigraphy demonstration with Daga Ramsey, Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, 12 January, 1960. (Inaugural lecture, 1960 series, Introduction by Douglas MacAgy, Museum Director)
  • Burke, Kathryn. "Ramsey Workshop Studio Program." 2991-B N. Druid Hills Road, N.E., Atlanta, GA, October, 1971-72. (Brochure of Kathryn Burke Studio-Workshop; biographies of Jack and Daga Ramsey and Jack Ramsey's teaching methods and workshop instruction)
  • Graves, Jack.  "The STAR talks to: THE RAMSEYS OF SAG HARBOR". The East Hampton Star Newspaper, East Hampton, NY, 5 July, 1973. (Interview with Jack and Daga Ramsey in their studios in Sag Harbor, NY)

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The photographs shown here are by no means a comprehensive inventory of the works we currently have for sale by this artist. They are meant merely as a representative cross-section of this artist's creations. Also, not all pieces shown here are necessarily still available. Each piece is an original one-of-a-kind artwork. Once it is sold, it is gone for good. If you are interested in more information about this particular artist and the works we currently have available, please Contact Us.

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Jack Ramsey, Kerrville, Texas - Oil Paintings