Robert Rogan is an American Midcentury Modernist. Aside from his own brilliant output, Rogan forged an impressive academic career, teaching throughout the Mid-West and Texas. His greatest contributions coming once he arrived at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
Born in Topeka, Kansas in 1922, Rogan received his Bachelor of Art degree in 1948 from Washburn University. He then went on to earn his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 1950. In 1950 he started his academic career at Fort Dodge Junior College in Iowa as an instructor. He moved to become an Instructor at the University of Nebraska in Omaha from 1951 to 1954. In 1954 Rogan assumed a professorship at Central Missouri State University, working there until 1959. He returned to Kansas in 1959 to become an Instructor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he taught there until 1961. In 1964 Rogan earned his Doctorate degree in Education at the University of Kansas.
Rogan served as a professor of fine art at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas for almost thirty years, from 1961 until 1990. For nineteen years, he served as the chairman of the Art Department at Lamar, and was instrumental in shifting the department’s commercial focus to one of fine art. Rogan assisted in the incorporation of figure drawing courses into the curriculum, which was viewed as an achievement in elevating the program’s art education to more classical modes of artistic training. Outside of Lamar University, he worked to promote art education in Southeast Texas, with Beaumont artist Lorene David and several other artists and teachers.
After arriving in Texas in 1961, Rogan was inspired by the natural and industrial landscape of Southeast Texas with its ports, refineries, and rice farms along the Gulf Coast. Throughout his oeuvre, Rogan repeatedly revisited subjects characteristic of the region and his everyday surroundings, working primarily in abstraction with a bright, bold color palette. Over his almost forty-year career as an artist, he experimented with many different styles and media. Beginning as a Regionalist artist, Rogan later moved into abstraction with his own version of Abstract Expressionist painting, blended with “Texas Cubism” which was popular at mid-century. The abstract paintings from his Texas period are recognizable as distinctively “Rogan”. His high caliber and consistent engagement with abstraction, plus the clear influence of Southeast Texas, makes his work a valuable addition to the development of Post-War Modern art in Texas. Rogan retired from his teaching position at Lamar University in 1990, and continues to reside in Beaumont, Texas.
Selected Biographical and Career Highlights
• Born in Kansas
• 1948, B.A., Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
• 1950, M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
• 1950, Instructor, Fort Dodge Junior College, Fort Dodge, Iowa
• 1951-1954, Instructor, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska
• 1954-1959, Professor of Art, Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Missouri
• 1959-1961, Instructor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
• 1961-1990, Professor of Art; Head of Art Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
• 1964, PhD, in Education, University of Kansas
• 1990, Retires from teaching
• Currently resides in Beaumont, Texas
1950University of Iowa
1954The Midwest Exhibition: The Third Biennial Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture and Graphic Arts
1959-61University of Kansas, Various Group Exhibitions
1963The Second Annual Coastal Art Exhibit
1964-48The Beaumont Art Museum Annual Exhibition
1965The Texas Fine Arts Association Citation Exhibition
1966-67The Texas Fine Arts Association Circuit Exhibition