The Ashby Hodge Gallery Presents Aaron Bohrod

“The Discerning Eye” exhibition continues through May 3

Using a trompe-l'oeil style that tricks the eye into seeing more dimension in a painting than is really there, realist painter Aaron Bohrod became internationally identified. His highly decorative and detailed still life paintings give the illusion of real life.

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art on the campus of Central Methodist University presents a collection of Aaron Bohrod's work as a part of its spring exhibition "The Discerning Eye." Twenty paintings by Bohrod from the permanent Ashby-Hodge collection are in the show. The show runs through May 3.

Bohrod, a Chicago, Ill., native, studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Art Students League of New York between 1926 and 1930. As a young child, Bohrod developed his fascination of drawing.

While at the Art Students League, his teacher, John Sloan, influenced Bohrod's decision to return home and paint his surroundings in Chicago. A painting by John Sloan's wife, Helen Farr Stone, is in the recent acquisitions segment of this spring show.

Bohrod sold his drawings for two dollars each and his framed water color paintings for five dollars. He held two one-person shows at The Rehn Gallery that were critically acclaimed but financially unsuccessful.

Earning a Guggenheim Fellowship, Bohrod traveled around the country painting and recording the American scene. He was accepted into the Associated American Artists group along with fellow painters John Stewart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood.

During World War II, Bohrod served as an artist in the Pacific for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and then moved to Europe as an artist war correspondent for Life Magazine. Four works from this period are included in the Ashby-Hodge show.

haircut.jpgBohrod became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1953. His works have been shown around the world, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Pentagon. They have also appeared in Fortune, Time, Look and Esquire magazines. As an artist, he also drew book illustrations, designed wallpaper and fabrics, and created sculptures and ceramics.

In addition to the Bohrod pieces, the current show also exhibits paintings by Rodney Burlingame, George Caleb Bingham, and recent acquisitions to the permanent collection.

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery is open Sunday and Tuesday – Thursday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. It is handicapped accessible. For more information, call 660-248-6304; or contact Denise Gebhardt, curator, at; or Dr. Joe Geist, supervisor of the collection, at


Photo: "The Haircut," oil on gesso board, 34" x 24 ½" by Aaron Bohrod


Posted March 17, 2014