Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Newman Myrah (1921-2010)

Just learned Newman passed away on September 15, 2010. glt


Realist-impressionist painter of the Northwest, Newman Myrah was born in Holdfast, Saskatchewan in 1921 and lived in Portland, Oregon from 1949 to 1996. Newman says that "my interest in the horse and what the animal meant to the West determines the subject matter of many of my paintings.

Painting is my profession, my hobby, and a way of life." When Newman was five, his family moved to Deer Lodge, Montana. "I was raised in a little town and was the only kid that could draw, so I was encouraged." He earned pocket money on a sheep ranch because "there wasn't much choice." After high school, he went to Portland with an uncle and worked in commercial art. He served in Japan in World War II and then enrolled in commercial courses in the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, becoming a free-lance artist back in Portland in 1949. While Newman Myrah served in World War II, it was with the 242nd Field Artilllery Battalion. He created the battalion crest for his unit.

Newman Myrah in the summer of 1943 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Commissions for national accounts and periodicals tapered off in 1970 and he began doing Western paintings in his spare time. In 1980, he quit as an illustrator because "I'd better get going."

He admits that Charles Marion Russell's "style had an influence. That was art as far as Montana was concerned. I work hard at my painting, and now that I can devote all my time to it, I should be better. That's one of the things that keeps you painting--the hope that the next one is going to be really terrific." Newman was one of the charter members of the Northwest Rendezvous Group.

Left to Right: Gary Temple, Marylee Moreland, and Newman Myrah in our exhibit room at the 2000 C. M. Russell Art Show and Auction in Great Falls, Montana.

The two vaqueroes are off riding again at the 2001 C. M. Russell Art Auction and Show.

From left to right: Newman Myrah, Ginger Renner, and Robert F. Morgan at the 2001 C. M. Russell Art Auction and Show.

View high resolution images of works by Newman Myrah when available.