James “Jack” Boynton, an artist, teacher and a key figure in the post-World War II Houston art scene.
Born in 1928 in Fort Worth, Boynton attended public schools in Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston, graduating from Lamar High School and earning bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Christian University.
He began exhibiting his paintings in 1950 and moved to Houston to teach at the University of Houston in 1955. The same year, he won the Purchase Prize in the annual Texas exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and had a solo exhibition at the Fort Worth Art Museum.
“(Artist) Dick Wray used to say that in the '50s, if Dorothy Hood, Richard Stout, he and I had been riding in the same car and it had gotten hit, it would have wiped out art in Houston,” Boynton told historian Sarah Reynolds in a 2006 interview. “There were not a lot of people (then) that were doing anything very avant garde, you know.”
Boynton garnered national attention in the 1950s and 1960s for his modernist, largely abstract paintings, which MFAH curator Alison de Lima Greene described as “introspective, visionary landscapes.” He was included in surveys of young American artists at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 1957, he was one of 17 artists to represent the United States at the Brussels World Fair.
After teaching at UH from 1955 to 1957, Boynton taught at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1960 to 1962, returning to Houston after his contract was completed. In 1969, he was instrumental in creating a studio art department at the University of St. Thomas, where he served as a professor until 1985.
EXHIBITED WITH THESE ARTISTS:
1961 January 6, 1961-February 5, "64th American Exhibition Painting & Sculpture". The Art Institute of Chicago,
James Jack Boynton, Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, George Cavallon, Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Sam Francis, Cleve Gray, Hans Hofmann, Richard Hunt, Alfred Jensen, Jasper Johns, Georgia O'Keeffe, Richard Pousette-Dart, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Mark Tobey, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Baziotes, Margit Beck, Janice Biala, Al Blaustein, Norman Bluhm, Aaron Bohrod.(among other artists)
1962, The Museum of Modern Art in New York: (Recent Painting USA: The Figure)
William Aiken, Fred Berger, James Jack Boynton, John Button, George Cohen, Elaine de Kooning, Robert De Niro, Stanley Floyd, Edward Giobbi, Leon Golub, Robert Hansen, Joseph Hirsch, Lester Johnson (artist), Jacob Landau, Lester Johnson (artist), Richard Lindner (painter), Nicholas Marsicano, James McGarrell, Jack McLarty, Nathan Oliveira, Reginald Pollack, Larry Rivers, Manfred Schwartz, Joyce Treiman, Tom Wesselmann, James Wines, Paul Wonner, Manoucher Yektai, Jack Zajac, (among other artists).
1972 "Landscape Exhibition in Museum Penthouse," Milet Andrejevic, James Jack Boynton, John Button, Christo, Jan Dibbets, Lois Dodd, David Hockney, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Gabriel Laderman, Richard Mayhew, Malcolm Morley, Robert Morris, Catherine Murphy, Dennis Oppenheim, Fairfield Porter, Sam Richardson, Edward Ruscha, Robert Smithson, Alan Sonfist, Larry Stark, Pat Steir, Neil Welliver and Ann Wilson. (among other artists) The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1988 February 10–Mary 15, Texas Art: An exhibition selected from The Menil Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Trustees' Collections of the Contemporary Arts Museum. Artists: John Alexander, David Bates, Forrest Bess, Derek Boshier, Jack Boynton, Mel Chin, Ben L. Culwell, Jeff Delude, Chuck Dugan, Vernon Fisher, Joseph Glasco, Roy Fridge, Bert Long, Jim Love, Ken Luce, David McManaway, Melissa Miller, Gael Stack, Earl Staley, Richard Stout, James Surls, Michael Tracy, Bob Wade, Dick Wray, Richmond Hall, The Menil Collection