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Myers, Eugene Ekander
b. May 5, 1914; d. January 5, 2001
Discipline: Drawing/Illustration, Graphics, Metal, Painting

Born and raised in Grand Forks, Eugene Myers was thoroughly educated in a variety of fields. After graduating from Central High School in 1932, he attended the University of North Dakota, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a double major in art and European history. In 1940, he was awarded a Masters degree in art, art history, and education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also studied drawing, painting, and graphics at Columbia University in New York City - where he earned a second Masters degree in 1947 - and pursued studies at the that city’s White School of Photography. In 1953, after joining the Air Force, he graduated from the Advanced Management Course at Harvard Business School.

No slouch as a professional either, Myers worked on the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, was head of the Art Department at the Mayville (North Dakota) State Teachers College, and taught at the University of Vermont, Columbia University, and North Dakota State University. Additionally, he spent what spare time he had creating original paintings, etchings, wood cuts, metal work, and illustrations.

At the start of World War Two, he trained as an infantry officer and was later promoted to Second Lieutenant as part of the ROTC program. He worked his way up the ranks and was eventually named chief of Protocol and chief of the Air Force Presentation Support Division at the Pentagon. After that, he became dean of Curriculum at the Air War College of Air University, the senior school of the Air Force.

He retired form the service as a full colonel in 1966 and accepted a position as dean of the Corcoran College of Art in Washington, D.C. Later, he became the vice-president of the Corcoran Museum of Art.

As a scholar, he has co-authored or contributed to three books and has published more than eighty articles on art, education, and his world travels. One of the books he worked on was Creative Lettering, co-authored with North Dakota art historian and professor Paul Barr.

A bachelor for most of his life, Myers married Florence Hutchinson Ritchie in 1974. They split their time between North Dakota, Minnesota, Florida, and Scotland.

As a strong believer in art studies as a part of higher education, the Myers's established a number of trusts and endowments at universities they had attended or were otherwise associated with: Northwestern University, Columbia University, the University of West Virginia, Saint Andrews University, and North Dakota State University. Additionally, they founded the Florence H. and Eugene E. Myers Charitable Unitrust and the Eugene E. Myers Charitable Trust, both dedicated to the development of library art collections and academic art programs.

Eugene Myers died on January 5, 2001 and was preceded in death by his wife.

- Ben Nemenoff

Bibliography:

Barr, Paul E. North Dakota Artists. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Library, 1954.

“Colonel Eugene E. Myers’ Biography.” Model School Library (a project of the Resource Center, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University). July 15, 2004. <http://lweb.tc.columbia.edu/cs/modelsl/myersbio.htm>.

Taylor, Edwin Mrs. Catalogue of Art Workers Within North Dakota. Bismarck: American Association of University Women (local branch), 1945.

 
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