Ninety Years In The Arts: Duard Marshall and the Neosho Centennial Mural
Neosho Arts Council hosted guest lecturer Daniel Morrison in Neosho on June 26, 2021 for a special presentation on artist Duard Marshall, the creator of the “Centennial Mural.”
“This mural was commissioned by the city to celebrate Neosho’s centennial and is currently in need of restoration,” said Sarah Serio in 2021, president of Neosho Arts Council. “We are excited to have Daniel come speak about Marshall’s career as an artist and specifically about this piece we are working to save.”
The thirty foot long “Centennial Mural,” painted in 1939, currently resides in the Neosho/Newton County Library. Over the piece’s 82 years it’s incurred damage from cigarette smoke, water staining, warping on the stretcher frames, and even a piece being cut out. This is one of three murals the arts council is working to restore along with the “Neosho Mural” by Big Spring Park and the “Rocketdyne Mural” now located at Crowder College.
“We are working to raise $40,000 for all three pieces to the restored,” Serio said. Work is slated to start this fall.
Morrison covered Marshall’s life starting from his youth living on an apple farm in Arkansas through his career in Denver, Fort Worth, and Kansas City. He’ll give a look into Marshall’s art career from his studies with Neosho native Thomas Hart Benton during the Regionalist Movements heyday through his struggles to find his creative voice after the movements collapse.
Marshall studied at the Art Institute under Benton in the late 1930’s before living in Neosho for a time, and being assigned war work at Camp Crowder during the Second World War.