Rex Goreleigh, Artist

Rex Goreleigh (1902-1986) was a Penllyn native. He had speech impediment when he was a child, and he took art as a way to cope with his disorder. His mother died when he moved to Philadelphia at age 15. Rex then moved to Washington, D.C. where he attended high school.

Rex Goreleigh (1902-1986)

In 1920, he attended a series of displays of African-American art at the Harmon Foundation exhibition in New York. After viewing the displays, Rex was inspired to pursue his career in art.


During his time in New York, he had the opportunity to meet the artists of the Harlem Renaissance like Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden.


Fun Fact: Rex's daytime job was being a waiter. In the early 1930s, "he waited a table for the prominent Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, who gave Goreleigh the opportunity to watch him work on portraits meant for Rockefeller Center."


- The Melvin Holmes Collection of African American Art


During the Depression era, under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project, Rex met and worked with Lithuanian-born American artist Ben Shahn. He also taught children at the Utopia Neighborhood House in New York.


He then traveled to Europe to study art under André Lhote in Paris, and Leo Ziemssen Moll in Germany. When he returned to America, Rex began teaching art at Harlem, and opened an art center at Greensboro, North Carolina with Norman Lewis.


In 1947, Rex moved to Princeton, and became the first director the Princeton Group Arts.

Rex Goreleigh and Ellis Wilson at the South Side Community Art Center

Rex Goreleigh, 1952

Rex's Paintings

"The Red Barn" (1945)
"In the Beginning" (1978)
"Helsinki-Finland (Market Place)" (1935)

"Still Life Cooking Mess" (1974)

"Social Hour" (1971)
"The Mourners" (1940)

Other Paintings by Rex:

  • Untitled (North Carolina Landscape), 1939

  • Standing Nude, 1945

  • Spring Pruning, 1966

  • Planting (from The Cranberry Pickers), 1973

  • Untitled-Planting, 1973

  • Quaker Bridge, 1976

  • The Gourmet Chef, 1977

  • Untitled, bridge over Princeton canal, 1977

  • Wash Day, 1979

  • Apple Cider at the Apple Farm

  • Canvas Bust of a General

  • Genre Scene

  • Loading the Truck at the Cranberry Bog

  • Mural Design

  • Nude

  • Old Grad - Princeton

  • Picking Apples

  • Red "Water Shed" landscape

Bibliography


Dube, Ilene. "Rex Goreleigh’s Migration Series Remembered." Princeton Info. Last modified April 18, 2018. https://princetoninfo.com/rex-goreleighs-migration-series-remembered/.


"Helsinki-Finland (Market Place) by Rex Goreleigh." artnet. Accessed December 1, 2020. http://www.artnet.com/artists/rex-goreleigh/helsinki-finland-market-place-mRIq9fXYE7kJjtBjVPbPBA2.


"ORIGINAL ARTWORKS BY AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTISTS H. O. TANNER AND REX GORELEIGH, AN A. & H. LEJAMBRE TABLE AND A LARGE VARIETY OF INDOOR-OUTDOOR FURNITURE WILL BE SOLD AT NADEAU’S ANNUAL MAY SALE MAY 20th." Auction Publicity. Last modified May 2, 2017. https://auctionpublicity.com/2017/05/02/original-artworks-african-american-artists-h-o-tanner-rex-goreleigh-h-lejambre-table-large-variety-indoor-outdoor-furniture-will-sold-nadeaus-annual-may-sale/.


"Princeton Group Arts exhibits at the Princeton Print Club." Graphic Art Collection: Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University. Accessed January 31, 2021. https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2014/05/24/princeton-group-arts-exhibits-at-the-princeton-print-club/.


"Rex Goreleigh." Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://pffcollection.com/artists/rex-goreleigh/.


"Rex Goreleigh." Tobin Reese Fine Art. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://www.tobinreese.com/rex-goreleigh.html.


"Rex Gorleigh (1902-1986)." The Melvin Holmes Collection of African American Art. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://www.holmesartgallery.com/rexgorleigh.


Rex Goreleigh and Ellis Wilson at the South Side Community Art Center, 1946 April. Ellis Wilson papers, 1922-1959. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/items/detail/rex-goreleigh-and-ellis-wilson-south-side-community-art-center-3794.


"Rex Goreleigh: Artist and Teacher." Nassau Presbyterian Church. Accessed December 1, 2020. http://nassauchurch.org/about/princetoncemetery/cemetery-bios/cemetery-bio06/.


"Rex Gorleigh Auction Price Results." invaluable. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://www.invaluable.com/artist/gorleigh-rex-hkwj74h1kx/sold-at-auction-prices/.


"Rex Goreleigh: Migrant Worker’s Witness." Historical Society of Princeton. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://princetonhistory.org/exhibitions/currently-on-view/rex-goreleighs-field-workers/.


"Rex Goreleigh The Mourners." Treadway Gallery. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://treadwaygallery.com/lot/rex-goreleigh-the-mourners-3938052.


"Rex Goreleigh The Red Barn." Treadway Gallery. Accessed December 1, 2020. https://treadwaygallery.com/lot/rex-goreleigh-the-red-barn-3973621.


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