The Paintings of John McCrady


The Square, 1968

MARCH 22 – JULY 23, 2022

Born on September 11, 1911, John McCrady was born in Canton, Mississippi, and with few exceptions, remained a Southern artist. He lived in Oxford, MS when his father got a job as a Philosophy professor at the University. At the age of 21, McCrady attended the New Orleans School of Art’s Arts and Crafts Club. He also studied at the New York Art Students League and at the University of Pennsylvania. After marrying Mary Basso in 1939, he opened the John McCrady School of Art. During his career, McCrady worked for the Federal Art Project, painting a mural on the Amory, MS post office, as well as other federal buildings. He also created a series of war posters under the Works Progress Administration, though those posters received such negative criticism that McCrady took a decade long break from consistent art production. When he began to paint again, his work focused more on New Orleans, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and Southern rural life, forgoing his previous attentions to the Southern Black community. His works are housed in the Georgia Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, Louisiana State Museum, University of Mississippi Museum. Before his death in 1968, McCrady finished three murals for the Bank of Oxford.