Theodore Morris

Ringling College of Art and Design Alumni 1972

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Theodore Morris

After finishing two years at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and receiving a B.F.A. from the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota in 1972, I worked as a commercial artist for local advertising agencies. After fifteen years, this occupation turned out to be very unfulfilling and I began pursuing interesting freelance design work.

Some of my projects included designing book covers for the University of Wisconsin Press, Ohio State University Press, and a few other universities. I also created drawings for a local archaeological survey company. I found this work much more stimulating and eventually began doing freelance work exclusively. 

While not as financially rewarding as my “day job” had been, the biggest benefit of being my own boss was having enough time to pursue my other passion—history.  I started studying Florida history intensely. 

The history of the early Florida Indians intrigued me because their cultures were so violently destroyed and in less than two hundred years. Perhaps serving as a combat medic in the historic Seventh Calvary in Vietnam in 1968, made me relate on a personal level to the incomprehensible deaths of native men, women, and children by European military conquest, disease, and slavery.

Anyway, I wanted to do something with my life that had meaning, so I decided to use paint on canvas to bring back these early native peoples whose images and lifestyles were grossly misrepresented for so long in history books and other chronicles of Florida’s early days. I combined my passions for art and for history to resurrect the earliest Florida natives so that they can be accurately understood. I also decided to paint Florida's interesting people and other tropical-related subject matter.

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Madeby Gallery - Ringling College of Art & Design

2700 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34234


madeby@c.ringling .edu

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