The Old Jail Art Center is very fortunate to be the recipient of artwork from the Larry Kleinschmidt Estate of Fort Worth. Larry was a longtime collector of Fort Worth Circle artists as well as other local artists. Just one of the many works the OJAC has accessioned, Whale, 1953 by Bror Utter, was included in the OJAC’s Texas Moderns: Bror Utter exhibition last fall.
Bror Utter (1913-1993) spent the entirety of his life studying, working, exhibiting, and teaching in Fort Worth until Alzheimer’s disease ended his painting career. An influential member of the Fort Worth Circle, he was a longtime teacher at both the Fort Worth Art Association and the Woman's Club of Fort Worth.
In the 1940s and 50s, Utter developed his distinctive “architectural landscapes,” a style that included arches and windows to compartmentalize his subjects. At this same time, he did a series of whale paintings in response to a visit to the old whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In a 1979 interview, Utter described these paintings of suspended whales as “Roman arches upside down….Nothing scientific at all. Purely fanciful. I was painting compulsively, and did not think they were likely to sell. But there’s not one left.”