Self Portrait by Miriam McClung
"Self-Portrait" by Miriam McClung, 1949. Oil on linen. 12" x 8".

Miriam’s First Works

It’s not often that an artist’s first substantial work is preserved for over 70 years. When you are a young artist, you don’t know if art will become a career, hobby, or fad in one’s life.

We are fortunate to still have in Miriam’s collection two of her earliest works. One is a self-portrait (her first), done in 1949 when she was 14 years old. Its subtle color palette and minimalism remind one of an Edward Hopper painting.

Peach Tree in the Country by Miriam McClung
“Peach Tree in the Country” by Miriam McClung, 1945. Oil on canvas board. 11″ x 15″.

The second work of Miriam’s — “Peach Tree in the Country”, 1945, oil on canvas board, 11″ x 15″ — is one of three works she did in locally known artist Louis Cone’s art class on Highland Avenue in Birmingham, Alabama. Miriam was 10 years old when she painted this work. You can see taking shape the beginnings of Miriam’s color palette choices that would define her later work. The two other works Miriam did in that class, a pastel and a drawing of her pet Cocker-Spaniel have been lost.

– Frank & Miriam