Biography

Baltimore native Philip Morsberger was born in 1933.  As a child, he was introduced to art through his grandfather’s newspaper illustrations and often drew at home before beginning his formal education at the Maryland Institute College of Art before the age of 14. He earned a BFA from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1954, and then joined the army which afforded him the opportunity to travel to Paris, where he was able to study at Académie de la Grande Chaumière.  He earned a graduate certificate in fine arts at the Oxford University Ruskin School of Drawing, after which he held teaching appointments at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, and Dartmouth College. From 1971-1984 he returned to Oxford as the University’s Ruskin Master of Drawing. He later returned to the United states to hold appointments at the University of California, Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of Arts and Crafts from which he retired in 1996. He retired a second time after a five-year stint as Williams S. Morris Eminent Scholar in Art at Augusta State University in Augusta, GA.

Until his death in Augusta, GA in 2021, Morsberger continued his prolific career, creating art. Working in a realist style at the beginning of his career, he later turned to the cartoon-like style for which he is now chiefly known. Philip Morsberger exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and his work is included in the permanent collections of many museums, including Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and the South Hampton City Art Gallery in England; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Art and Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum in California; the Morris Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia; Dartmouth’s Hood Museum in New Hampshire; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans among others.

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