Edward Corbett (1919-1971)


In 1952, the year after he moved to Taos, Corbett’s work was included in a group show, titled 15 Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. San Francisco Museum of Art curator Susan Landauer commented that if Corbett had remained in New York, he “might now be considered one of the better Abstract Expressionists.”

Indeed, Corbett’s work stood out, even alongside the works of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Clyfford Still. Critic and Art News president Thomas Hess even called him “the most interesting new artist in the show.” Despite the publicity that followed the exhibition, Corbett left for New York shortly after, seemingly uninterested in capitalizing on his newfound fame. Throughout his life, Corbett would remain firm in his belief that artists should create independently, unconstrained by trends.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1919, Edward Corbett was the son of an army officer and spent his youth in the southwestern United States, Ohio, and the Philippines. In 1937, Corbett began art studies at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. During World War II, he was drafted into the army and merchant marine. After his discharge he spent a year in New York, then returned to California to teach at San Francisco State College. He then taught at the California School of Fine Arts for five years, along with Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and Richard Diebenkorn.

In 1951, he moved to Taos and in 1953 he moved to Massachusetts for a teaching position. During this time, he spent his summers between Taos, New Mexico and Provincetown, Massachusetts, and would later move to Washington, D.C. Corbett passed away in 1971 in Provincetown.

Edward Corbett at 203 Fine Art

The following exhibition catalogues, published by 203 Fine Art, feature works by Edward Corbett. Please follow the links to view the catalogues on Issuu.

Edward Corbett: A Rare Assemblage | 2019

Taos Moderns in Santa Fe | 2019

Taos Moderns Return to The Stables Gallery | 2018

San Francisco to Taos | 2017

Taos Moderns: Bridging the Gap | 2015

Photo by Mildred Tolbert
Photo by Mildred Tolbert

Schools of Study

California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

Partial List of Collections

Museum of Modern Art, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art
Smithsonian Institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
National Gallery of Art
White House Collection

Selected Awards

Twelfth Annual Drawing and Print Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1948

Selected Exhibitions

Museum of Modern Art, NY 1952
Grace Borgenicht Gallery, NY 1956
Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA 1990

Selected Works in Our Inventory