A Guide to the Victor Lallier Papers, 1958-1965
Born on April 22, 1912 in Fort Worth, Texas, Victor Alvin Lallier visited many museums and galleries across the United States with his father, a railroad worker and amateur artist. These visits deeply influenced Lallier as a young child; soon he was carving figures out of soap and drawing cowboys and horses from memory. Lallier grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas and attended Bryan Street High School.
After high school, Lallier began a yearlong apprenticeship with artists Frank Calder in Dallas and Hobart Britton in Atlanta, Georgia. He then enrolled in classes at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, majoring in art advertising. In 1931, he took an art class at SMU under the direction of Olive Donaldson who saw in him an inherent ability to draw faces and encouraged his talent in portraiture.
In addition to formal training, Lallier studied locally with John Knott, Ralph Rountree, Olin Travis and Otis Dozier. He continued his graduate studies in California studying under Millard Sheets and James Chapin at Claremont Colleges, as well as working under Clarence Bull at MGM Studios. He also received instruction from Leopold Seyffert and Joseph Cummings Chase in New York City.
Lallier returned to Texas in 1933 to start his career, earning a reputation for being able to achieve a photographic likeness of his subjects. Lallier became known as the premier portrait painter of twentieth century Texas. Lallier passed away on September 11, 1995 at the age of eighty-three. He is laid to rest at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. At the time of his death, Lallier had painted over 2,000 portraits in his fifty-nine year career
Sources: Erin L. Wolfe, from "Unveiling a Mystery: The Victor Lallier Collection," Master's Thesis, Baylor University, 2009. “Victor Lallier: Commemorating 25 Years of Southwestern Portraiture,” exhibition pamphlet, 1957.
Correspondence and records related to the commission and funding of the Speaker Sam Rayburn portrait, eight “Gold Medallion” presidential portraits, and the Lyndon B. Johnson portrait painted by Dallas artist Victor Lallier to be hung at the Sam Rayburn Library in Bonham, Texas.
Victor Lallier Papers, 1958-1965, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Papers