George Green on the Oak Cliff Four

Oak Cliff Four, George Green

In August, 1972 Newsweek ran a story on the Oak Cliff Four, a group of talented, media-savvy artists in Dallas. Excitement abounded in the art community, and some predicted the group would lead the city of Dallas to “art center” status.

A few months later the Tyler Museum of Art launched a show featuring the work of George Green, as well as Bob Wade, Jack Mims and Jim Roche. This may have been the first time the term “Oak Cliff Four” was actually used. We will attempt to verify (or at least see if it’s used in the Newsweek article).

We traveled to Cloudcroft, New Mexico to visit George Green, who talks a bit about the Tyler show and what made the “Oak Cliff Four” successful. Mac Whitney, who we previously covered, is sometimes also associated with the group of artists.

Oak Cliff Four George Green

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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