Sunday, January 24, 2010

RIP Chuck Morey

The worst thing about getting old is that more people you know get old and die. Chuck and I weren't friends exactly, but we were connected in many ways. The biggest one being that we moved into the cottage on his brother's farm after he was kicked out of it. Actually it was more of a drafty shack when we got it and it was loaded with junk. Chuck was the attendant at the landfill up the road from the place and became a hoarder of sorts, collecting cast off items that might be useful someday. It took a long time to empty the place after he left.

Nonetheless, Chuck was a smart man and fabulous artist. Oddly, in all the years that I knew him, I never knew that he had started out as an accomplished professional. I was surprised to see this in the obit:
Chuck was a painter who had works displayed in various galleries over the years. He received his bachelor's degree from Williams College and his master's degree from the University of Georgia in Athens. He was a retired professor of fine art, having held positions at Dartmouth College and the University of Toronto, as well as Amherst College and Berkshire Community College.
By the time I knew him, he was living in a broken down trailer, enlarged with haphazard additions built of whatever scrap he happened to find. He wasn't painting much. He apparently died pretty much broke. Still he was a good man. A gentle soul with a generous spirit. Rest in peace.


At 8:34 AM , Blogger generousmedium said...

I came across your blogpost while researching for a retrospective show and book that I am putting together for next year with some other friends of Chuck's.

Things got better for Chuck after his low point in the 70s and I'm happy to be able to report that, while his circumstances in the later years of his life probably didn't accord with the larger society's views of success, Chuck was a happy man and well fulfilled in his personal, artistic and teaching lives. He kept painting until the last year of his life, when his health began to interfere.

At 8:12 PM , Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I only knew him as a somewhat troubled man butI'm so glad someone is doing something to honor his work. He really was a tremendous artist. I treasured the hand drawn Christmas card he gave me one year. It was a couple of simple silver lines on black cardstock. Brilliant in its simplicity.

Please let me know when the book is published. I would love to buy one.

At 10:46 PM , Blogger generousmedium said...

I didn't know Chuck at that point in his life and only know about it from from various references of his and other members of his family to it. He definitely made it through. And I'm sure that even in the bad times he was still Chuck.
One of the aspects of this project is finding people who knew him and collecting their memories. I can add you to the notification list I am starting if you want to give me an email address. It isn't set up yet but an interactive website is definitely part of the plan.


Are you still in the area?

At 7:27 AM , Blogger Libby Spencer said...

No, I moved from the area many years ago but would be happy to contribute whatever I can to the project. My email is on the sidebar.


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