30 X 40 INCHES


Reginald Grooms is an artist and an educator who has had considerable influence on a number of artists in this community. There is scarcely an exhibiting artist in the area who has not come under his teaching or guidance at least some time during his career. The mental challenge of Reggie's encyclopedic mind in the area of fine arts is appreciated by both the artist and the layman, as evidenced by the crowd in attendance at the Art Forum meetings that he conducts each month at the Art Club.

Reginald Leslie Grooms was born in 1900 on Freeman Ave. in Cincinnati. At the age of two his family moved to Elmwood Place. His father was a well known wood engraver who had prepared the engravings for illustrations by Henry Farny for McGuffey's Eclectic Reader. At the age of four Reggie began painting in watercolor. His father use to work with him every Sunday afternoon. At the age of eight he began to paint in oils.

All of his paintings were from his imagination. He received only one hour per week of art training while in public school. In 1917, he started studying art full time at the Cincinnati Art Academy. During the 5 years that he attended that school he studied drawing, painting, composition and design under John E. Weis, James R. Hopkins, Herman Wessel, Bessie Hoover Wessel, and William Hentschell. While at the Art Academy he received both the Louise Ingalls and the Fannie Harrison Scholarships.

In 1923, Reggie went to Europe to study painting at the Academie Julian in Paris. He studied there for two years under Jules Pages, Henri Royer, and Paul Albert Laurens. While in Paris he exhibited in the Spring Salons of both 1924 and 1925 held at the Grande Palais (with 2 paintings accepted in each show). The New York Times reported that he was the youngest American exhibiting in those shows. Among the fewer than ten percent American students at the Academie Julian with Reggie were Ralph Mayer (author of the Handbook for Artists), and Grant Wood.

After his second year in Paris, in 1925, Reggie was called back to Cincinnati to assume the position of instructor of landscape painting at the Cincinnati Art Academy Summer School. This was a position that he held for over 20 years.

Also in 1925 he started as an instructor in painting and drawing at the University of Cincinnati School of Applied Arts. In 1945 he was made an Assistant Professor, in 1951 he became an Associate Professor and in 1955, he became the Albert P. Streitmann Professor of Art as well as the Chairman of the Fine Arts Department and the Chairman of the Arts Division.

He held these chairmanship positions until 1965. In 1971 he retired from there
after teaching for over 46 years. Since 1926 Reggie has taken a trip every year (except 2) to paint. These trips have ranged from several to Central America and the Caribbean in the early 30's to Europe (Spain, France, and Ireland) in later years, as well as Canada and numerous States in this country from California to New England, and the South. He's currently planning to return to Ireland, for the fifth time, this Fall.

Reggie painted in oil until 1932, then he exhibited in egg tempera until 1957 when he started featuring watercolor painting and acrylic painting in his exhibits. Also in 1957 he started painting portraits in oil and in oleo-resin technique. He is still exhibiting in watercolor and is also actively involved in portrait painting.

Reginald Grooms has had 33 one-man shows to date. Many were at the Closson Gallery here in Cincinnati; others were at Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, Ind., the University of Kansas Museum, the Charles Morgan Gallery in New York City, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Cincinnati Art Club. The largest one-man show that he had was a retrospective at the Alms Gallery at the University of Cincinnati in 1971.

Some group shows that he has participated in were at: the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Butler Art Institute, the Pan American Fine Arts Exhibit (1935), both the New York and the San Francisco Worlds' Fairs of 1939, the Kearney Gallery in Milwaukee, the Chicago International Watercolor Exhibit (twice), Miami University, The Charleston, West Virginia Art Club, the Ohio Watercolor Society Traveling Show, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Art Alliance (invitational), and the "Special Critics Choice" exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Reggie has juried a number of exhibits, including an All-West Virginia Show at Charleston, an All-Indiana Show at Indianapolis, and a Regional Exhibit at Huntington West Virginia.

He is a member of the Scarab Club, the Cincinnati Professional Artists, the American Society for Aesthetics, the Cincinnati Chapter of the International Torch Club, the Ohio Watercolor Society, the Cincinnati McDowell Society, as well as the Cincinnati Art Club. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art, and is in the Blue Book of Leaders of the English Speaking World (published in London, 1970).

Reggie is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Art Club, a position which he held previous to this term from 1926 continuously till 1958. He served as President of the Art Club from 1933-1935.

Reginald Grooms died in 1989.