Antelope Flat—Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma
Oil on linen with carved frame.
Friederich Ernst Darge (1900–1978), German-born painter, illustrator and sculptor, immigrated to the United Sates in 1924. Completing studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League, Darge traveled through the American West working as a cowhand. He arrived in Texas in 1933 and moved to Dallas in 1935, continuing to make annual painting trips driving an old army ambulance into western states. During World War II he served in the South Pacific painting wildlife and military activities. Darge exhibited at the Witte Memorial Museum in San Antonio, 1934, the Texas Centennial Exhibition, 1936, and the Pan American Exposition, 1937. Darge’s solo exhibitions include those at Laguna Gloria in 1948, Dallas Museum of Fine Art in 1941, 1944, 1947, 1949, and the Texas Tech Art Museum in 1966. A portrait by Darge, Octavio Medellin Carving The Spirit of the Revolution, painted c. 1933, was given by Medellin (1907–1999) to the Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, SMU.
Darge first ventured into the Wichita Mountains wilderness area in 1952 and continued to paint longhorns, deer, elk, and bison in the refuge.