Ancient Warrior

Ancient Warrior
Merv Corning
1926 - 2006
Acquisition Number: 2017.100
Size: 21 ¼” x 27”
Date: 1980

Merv Corning was born in Santa Ana, California, in 1926. He lived and worked in Los Angeles for many years with his wife Tula, before they moved to Solvang in 1980. He loved working in watercolors, although he also used acrylics, oils and original lithography. Known for his finely detailed work, Corning recorded each scene with impeccable realism and sensitivity. His imagery artfully captured the ambiance of his subjects. The Museum first came to know Merv and his wife Tula in 1989 when he had an exhibition here through the Football Hall of Fame. Merv was known for his portraits of football players and the Rooneys were a prime collector of these portraits. Merv also became aware for the first time of “fireflies” and wondered how we were able to get lights throughout our parking area to light up and twinkle. We explained about fireflies and he spent the evening capturing and releasing them. Can you image him running around capturing fireflies? “My interest is so broad that my art, as a body of work, defies categorization…I have a desire to explore, a curiosity to do different things”, Corning once said. Whether Corning painted an ancient airplane with it heroic pilot, the architecture of a by-gone era, or the essence of Chadd’s Ford, his images captured the admiration of viewers throughout the country.