Idabel, OK (October 23, 2018)—Several paintings by the late Harold Stevenson, as well as a matador suit worn by El Cordobes (the subject of one of his more famous paintings), are on display throughout McCurtain County. One painting, Mauro, is on exhibit at the Museum of the Red River until March 31, 2019. The suit and the remaining paintings can be found at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s McCurtain County Campus. Stevenson, an Idabel-native, passed away on October 21, 2018 according to reporting by the McCurtain Daily Gazette.
Stevenson’s work was displayed in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries. He is best known for his 39-feet long mural of an odalisque male, The New Adam. The painting was banned from the 1963 Six Painters and the Object exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. Lawrence Alloway, curator, deemed the painting so “spectacular” it would distract from the included works of artists Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and other celebrated artists. In 2005, the Guggenheim reversed course and acquired Stevenson’s 1963 piece for its permanent collection.
Mauro (on loan from Carroll Staton) is one of Stevenson’s earlier works. In the spring 1954, Stevenson began teaching art at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. While there, he learned about an emerging art community in the city center of San Miguel, Mexico. He spent the summer of 1954 completing a series of 45 paintings based on the area. Mauro is one of the few paintings from that series in existence. (Information compiled with assistance from Dian Jordan, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She resides in Hochatown Oklahoma.)