Writings by the Artist:

Drawing the Line

Career Narrative

Clarence Morgan is an artist whose work comprises painting, drawing, printmaking and occasional writing and curatorial projects. He is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he also received his formal education and art training. It was in Philadelphia, as an art student, that he met his artist wife of 40 years, Arlene Burke-Morgan, also a native of Philadelphia. During his career, Morgan has been an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, North Carolina) and the Harwood Museum of Art (Taos, New Mexico). His list of solo exhibitions include Rosenberf+Kaufman Fine Art (New York), Kidder Smith Gallery (Boston), Thomas Barry Fine Arts (Minneapolis), David Lusk Gallery (Memphis), and the Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia) among many others. Group exhibitions in which his paintings, drawings and/or prints were featured include The American Academy Institute of Arts & Letters (New York), David Richard Contemporary (Santa Fe), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Rochester Art Center (Minnesota).

Morgan has been invited to produce prints at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis, Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Patton Printmaking Studio/Workshop at the Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass Village, Colorado). His work is in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, among numerous other museums, galleries, and institutions. In 2009, Morgan’s work was featured in three concurrent exhibitions in Beijing, China. While in China, he lectured on the Nature of Abstraction to students studying at the Beijing Film Academy. He has received numerous grants, fellowships and invitations to be a visiting artist at such places as Yale University, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, James Madison University, York College of Pennsylvania, Brigham Young University, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cooper Union (School of Art), Washington University, The College of Holy Cross, University of Wisconsin, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Stanford University among others. 

After completing his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Morgan moved south to accept a teaching position as lecturer in the School of Art at East Carolina University. With the intention of only spending a few years in Greenville, North Carolina with his young family, he remained on the faculty at ECU from 1978 to 1992 moving through the academic ranks to full-professor. While in North Carolina, Morgan continued to make new work, teach and establish a reputation in the southeast region of the United States—exhibiting at such venues as the North Carolina Museum of Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta as well as early solo exhibitions at the Alternative Museum in New York in the ‘80s. He was appointed and served on the North Carolina Arts Council for two terms under Democratic and Republican Governors. In the ‘90s he served on the Art Journal Editorial Board of the College Art Association and recently a term on the Nomination Committee of CAA. In the ‘90s Morgan contributed to many arts organizations by serving on the boards of Penland School of Crafts (two terms), Center for Arts Criticism (Twin Cities), and the College Art Association.

In 1984, Morgan took a leave of absence from his position at East Carolina University to accept a one-year appointment as Artist-in-Residence at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. He spent that year teaching painting/drawing courses and working in his studio. At the conclusion of his appointment, he and his family, returned to North Carolina where he resumed his teaching and academic responsibilities at East Carolina University. Morgan remained at ECU until he resigned in 1992 to accept a position on the faculty in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. In 2004, he was appointed department chair and served in that capacity until July 2010. Currently, he is Head of Drawing/Painting in the Department of Art. Since moving to Minnesota, Morgan’s career continued on an upward trajectory, receiving grants and major fellowships from the Bush Foundation (1998), Jerome Foundation (1998-99), McKnight Foundation (2000), and the Minnesota State Arts Board (1998). 

Morgan was named the 2010 Dorothy Liskey Wampler Eminent Professor in the School of Art and Art History at James Madison University. In May, the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts honored Morgan with the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. Previously, he was awarded the 2005-06 College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Medalist at the University of Minnesota. The Dean’s Medal is awarded to faculty noted for excellence in scholarship and/or creative activity. 

Morgan currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife where they share studio space.