Morris Gaylord Broderson was born in Los Angeles, California on November 4, 1928. A painter and printmaker, he worked in oil, watercolor, pastel, and lithography, primarily focusing on highly detailed, somewhat surreal portraits and still-lifes. Rich in color and pattern, these passionate paintings reveal his concern with man's emotional response to the world around him.
Deaf from birth, Broderson attended Berkeley School for the Deaf (CSD) in Berkeley, California where he discovered an interest in art and began to teach himself how to draw. At the age of fourteen, his aunt -- gallery owner Joan Ankrum -- took notice of his artistic ability and, after helping him to further his talent, called the director of the Pasadena Art Institute, Francis DeErdeley, who recognized Broderson’s talent and agreed to mentor him. DeEderley eventually encouraged Broderson to leave junior high to attend University of Southern California where DeErdeley taught.
Following graduation he continued to reside and work in Southern California, working as a janitor at a racetrack and a photographer's assistant to make ends meet in his early twenties. He had his first solo show in Laguna Beach. His subject matter ranged from allegorical themes such as the Crucifixion, poetry by Garcia Lorca, Kabuki legends, and more. He was known for incorporating embroideries, Asian motifs, porcelain, lace and floral designs into his artwork. He often worked on several paintings at the same time.
In his early paintings, allegorical themes such as the Crucifixion, poet Garcia Lorca and Kabuki legends prevail. Later, he depicted both exotic and common objects, flowers, embellished vases, textiles and some portraiture. The images are almost fantasy, saturated with a multitude of associations and references.
His awards include New Talent USA from Art in America, and First Prize and Purchase at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He exhibited at the M.H. De Young Museum, San Francisco, and the University of Arizona, Tucson. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., among others.
Morris Broderson died in Van Nuys, California on January 5, 2011