San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts Catalog
Accession no: 2003.13.6 Type of work: Mixed media
Artist/creator: Bert L. Long, Jr., 1940-2013
Variant forms of names: Bert Long
Artist biography: Bert Long was born in Houston. His father was killed when he was three. His mother raised him and his three children on the $4.00 a day she earned as a maid. He studied at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College from 1966-1972 and at University of California, Los Angeles from 1972-1973. After serving in the Marines, he became a chef. He was particularly known for his elaborate cakes and ice sculptures. His work has been in over 100 exhibitions, including shows at the Menil Collection, Houston, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Austin Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. His work is in over 100 private collections and has been review in numerous periodicals. He has received both an NEA Fellowship Award and a Prix de Rome Fellowship in Fine Arts. His book Mental Asylum  offers a richly illustrated “diary” of the year  he spent at the American Academy in Rome. Long currently lives and works in Houston. In 2004, he stated his philosophy: My job as an artist is to diagnose what’s happening in society, the way you diagnose an illness. If you diagnose an illness, you have a chance of curing it. Hate’s not going to go away if you leave it alone. It festers.” Long himself has suffered hatred; his small house was vandalized and burned, leaving only racist graffiti on the wreckage.
Title of work: A Quiet Day in Studio 13
Date of item: 1988
Date of Acquisition: 2003
Signed: On back of work: “A Quiet Day in Studio 13. 12-22-1988. BLON 4. Acrylic on CB. HYD paint tubes. Hands Xerox copy.”
Dimensions: 42 ½ x 40 x 6 inches (108 x 101.6 x15.2 centimeters)
Description: A section of a door with a rather elaborate knob has ahatchet piercing the center. To the right are on a panel aremany graffiti messages including: “Heart Attack,” “Turn ItDown,” and “John John Who?” Surrounding the door are many flattened tubes of acrylic paint.Photocopies of the palms of four hands are laminated across the top. This work could evokememories of Bert Long’s returning home to Shepard, Texas after living in Europe only to find bothhis house and studio had been badly vandalized.
Material: door with knob, flattened paint tubes, Xerox copies of hands
Country of origin: United States
African American artists
Barrett Collection, Dallas, Tex.
See from: (Related descriptors)
Provenance: This work was part of the Barrett Collection of Dallas, donated by Richard and Nona Barrett to The Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The Museum of fine Arts, Houston
Houston, TX 77005
Credit line for all exhibits and catalogs should read: The Barrett Collection, gift of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Cataloger name: Chatfield
Date: Feb. 10, 2005
Sources used: AAT, LCC, TGM II, ULAN; Museum file
Web sites: www.dallasartrevue.com/art-crit/Artists/Bert_Long/Bert-Long-4naX.shtml (6/4/2004)