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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TRAVIS, PAUL B. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TRAVIS, PAUL B. (2 Jan. 1891-23 Nov. 1975), artist and teacher, was born on a farm in Wellsville, Columbiana County, Ohio to William M. and Elizabeth Bough Travis. He won an engineering scholarship to Washington & Jefferson College, but instead taught in the country school. He came to Cleveland and entered Cleveland School of Art in 1913, graduating in 1917, then served a year with the American Expeditionary Forces in France, after the armistice spending 6 months teaching life drawing at the AEF University in Beaune, France. Travis began teaching full-time at the Art Institute in 1920, continuing until his retirement in 1957; also teaching at John Huntington Polytechnic Institute. In 1927-28, Travis made a much-celebrated and widely publicized African expedition. The Gilpin Players (at KARAMU HOUSE) and the African Art Sponsors, a group of black citizens interested in African art, financed his 7-month collecting and painting trip. The art and artifacts he collected were received by the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART, the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, and Karamu House. This trip motivated Travis to prolific production. Travis was equally at ease with oil, watercolor, the etcher's needle, and the lithographer's crayon. He lectured at museums and universities and was a trustee of Goodrich House, Karamu, and the Cleveland Council on Human Relations. When the Museum of Art held its 52d MAY SHOW in 1971, Travis had exhibited and won regularly in every show. Travis married Marjorie Penfield on 4 Oct. 1925 and had 1 son, William P., and 2 daughters, Jane (Spangler) and Elizabeth (Dreyfuss).

Paul B. Travis Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 04:33:59 PM

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