Figure with Bicycle
Craypas on paper
27.75″ X 33.75″
Ex Mendelsohn Collection
Eddie Arning was born in a small German farming town near Austin, TX. He lived and worked on his family’s farm until the mid-twenties, when he began to have bouts of mental illness. In 1934, he was committed to a mental institution. After being institutionalized for many years, he was transferred to a nursing home in 1964, where he was introduced to crayons and for the next decade began his artistic output of over 200 drawings. Arning worked with a combination of crayon and pastel, called craypas, on paper. Most of his early subjects were objects from everyday life; farm scenes, animals, plants, farm implements, automobiles, windmills and musical instruments. Later in his artistic career, he used magazine advertisements as inspiration.
Arning stopped painting in 1973, when he was asked to leave his nursing home and went to live with his widowed sister.
His drawings can be found in numerous museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Smithsonian and the American Folk Art Museum, New York and are included in numerous books on Outsider and Folk Art.