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Sept. 30, 2016
The Northwest Missouri State University community has a new painting to study and enjoy, thanks to the generosity of a university alumnus and his recent gift.
Faculty representing Northwest’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts met Sheldon Saxton Friday to thank him for the painting, Sergei Morozov’s “Still Life: Lemons and Playing Cards,” which he donated to the University this fall.
“Some things that don’t always go realized are that our faculty are able to benefit from a gift like this,” Dr. Joe Kreizinger, chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, said. “It’s providing new opportunities for our students and our community. Both the University and the extended community are able to enjoy and appreciate this piece, and most importantly it does allow our students to experience a new work, a new artist, a new period.”
Saxton, a Maryville resident, completed some of his undergraduate studies at Northwest and returned to the University to complete his master’s degree in health science and physical education in 2007. A former teacher, Saxton now works his family farm.
He acquired the oil on canvas painting, valued at about $4,400, at an auction but never found an appropriate place to display it in his own home. Saxton said he wanted the University to benefit from the painting and help enrich students’ studies.
“I love this place,” he said. “I have a lot of great memories here, so I wanted to try to help them out because they’ve helped me out through life.”
According to information Saxton provided, Sergei Morozov was born in 1938 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to a family of artists and began learning the use of color and the function of line early in his life. While early influences of Renoir, Monet and the Russian classical artist Repin Serov are noted in Morozov’s work, his interest in the contemporary Russian artist Kasimir Malevich also helped him develop a passion for still lifes.
Morozov graduated from The Academy in St. Petersburg in 1960 and today continues the family tradition of exhibiting his work throughout Russia while still teaching fine art in various institutions.
Dr. Stuart Robinson, assistant professor of art at Northwest, said the painting presents multiple instructional uses for faculty and students, particularly to early painting students who begin their studies with still life works.
“They work intensely at these things,” Robinson said. “So it’s good they have a model to go off of as they build from drawing to painting and into more complex forms of art.”
The painting will remain in Northwest’s Olive DeLuce Art Gallery at least through its next installation in November, Kreizinger said.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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