Artist Profile - About Theodore Morris
Theodore Morris is an artist whose work is a journey through time. He uses oil painting as a visual language to depict Florida's native cultures that have been lost in the mist of time. His realistic portrayal of these ancient people is not a romantic image, but a sensitive understanding of their way of life.
Morris works with archaeologists and anthropologists throughout the State of Florida gathering the latest information pertaining to artifacts and documentation for his oil paintings. He has spent many hours working excavations in Florida.
In addition to one man shows at galleries and museums, Morris's works have been exhibited at private and public shows for foundations and charities.
With painstakingly researched detail, Theodore Morris chronicles Native Americans who lived in Florida as many as 13,000 years ago, but who look, in his beautiful paintings, as if they might have just pulled their boat through the mangroves or come in from the pinewoods.
Some of Theodore Morris paintings offer a glimpse at the everyday lives of Native Americans; in others, the subjects stand and look directly ahead as if watching the viewer. These direct, almost confrontational exchanges lead to a near-magical feeling in his paintings.
Morris spends many hours studying Native American records and artifacts. He's crisscrossed the State of Florida going to universities, museums and libraries, talking to scholars, even joining in archaeological digs - all to make his paintings as authentic as possible.
After years of successful work as a commercial illustrator and graphic design artist, Morris wanted more challenge and more time to paint. He was consumed with the idea of recording the region's lost tribes and started reading and studying voraciously. In 1992, Theodore Morris painted his first Native American portrait - and Apalachee man performing a ritual bird dance - and now there's no stopping him (thank goodness!).
Morris was honored in 1997 by the Florida Anthropological Society when his paintings were selected by its Board of Directors to be used in their video to be titled "Shadows and Reflections: The Search for Florida's Lost People." During the filming of the video, which was aired on PBS, he painted a completely new work depicting an event in the lifestyle of the Calusa.
Today, Theodore Morris' works hang in museum, corporate and private collections throughout North America, Ireland, England, and Australia.
Some of the artist's paintings and prints can be seen at the Mariners Manor gallery on St. George Street, St. Augustine, FL
Florida Lost Tribes
"Because of the 'primitiveness' of his Indians, our visitors of all
ages were fascinated by the paintings. Using Mr. Morris' detailed,
informative labels, our tour guides for school groups could
interpret their culture, their daily life. Mr. Morris' skill in
portraying these people and his painstaking research made them seem
exceptionally real to the viewer."
history and fine arts come together in as compelling a way as in
Theodore Morris' paintings of Florida Indian people. His use of
archaeological and historical fact, combined with artistic
imagination and skill, inspired hundreds of visitors at our museum
during a show of his works."
"Theodore Morris' renderings of native Floridians and wildlife
received a tremendous response on the part of our visitors. It is
truly one of the best shows ever installed in our gallery."
an immense pleasure and wonderful learning experience to work with
Theodore Morris for our Florida Archaeology Month Exhibits in 2000 &
2001. Our Florida Archaeology Month 2001 exhibit attracted thousands
of patrons and is the most attended exhibit for us. His artwork was
the showcase of the exhibits. Ted's depiction of 'Florida's Lost
Tribes' is both realistic and enchanting."
"Historic Spanish Point was honored to host an exhibition of
Theodore Morris' artwork in our exhibits gallery in the Historic
Spanish Point Visitors Center in the Osprey School. His paintings
are recognized nationally as among the best depicting Florida's
early native people. As one observer noted at the time, 'The viewer
can almost see what the character portrayed in the painting is
thinking and will gain a greater understanding of these people lost
in time.' It is Morris' careful consideration to the details
archaeologists have gleaned over decades of scientific research that
makes his paintings so valuable in communicating the life
experiences of those who lived in Florida thousands of years ago."
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The music on the Florida Lost Tribes website was composed and performed by 8 time Emmy Award-winning and Grammy nominated composer and flautist, Kat Epple. Kat travels throughout the world, collecting and studying flutes from other cultures which she features in her original compositions and CD releases. She has performed at the Guggenheim Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery, has released 15 CDs of original music, and composes and produces music for television, including "National Geographic," "Nova," and "Guiding Light." http://katepple.com/
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