(1915 - 2004)
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Profession: Painter, educator, writer
Studied: University of Oklahoma, B.F.A, 1936, M.F.A. in Painting 1939.
Colorado Springs Arts Center, with Boardman Robinson, Paul Burlin and Henry Varnum Poor; Taos School of Art, with Emil Bisttram; Studio Hinna, Rome, Italy, 1951-52.
Teaching: Professor of painting, University of Oklahoma, 1939-1965, Director of the School of Art from 1951-1965; Chairman of Art Department, Rice University, Houston, 1965-1970; Director, Sewall Art Gallery, 1971-1977; Professor Emeritus.
Exhibited: World's Fair New York, 1939; Carnegie Institute, 1941; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1939, 1941; Denver Art Museum, 1940; Directions in American Painting, Carnegie Institute; Abstract & Surrealist Art, Art Institute of Chicago; Contemporary American Painting, University of Illinois; Troisieme Salon International des Realites Nouvelles, Paris, France; M-59 Exhib., Copenhagen, Denmark; Louisiana Gallery, Houston, TX, 1970s
Numerous exhibitions and awards (over 75 exhibitions between 1940 and 1993).
Work: Denver Art Museum; Dallas Museum. Fine Arts; Library of Congress; University of Michigan Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa; Joslyn Museum, Omaha, NE; Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art at University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK owns many paintings by John O'Neil; also the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, OK.
Comments: Preferred media: acrylics, pastels. He contributed to, "Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State," in Art & Architecture, 1957; "Thoughts on Light," in Kunst, 1963; and "On Color," in Cimarron Review, 1972.
From 1943 to 1946, O'Neil served as topographer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in North Africa and Washington, D.C. A recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships, O'Neil is listed in Who's Who in American Art; Archives of American Art; and Personaggi Contemporaneii, Italy. He is featured in Coming Home, American Paintings 1930-1950, The Schoen Collection, published 2003 by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. Copies of John O'Neil's personal papers from 1945 to 1978 are preserved at the Smithsonian.