"He made a living as an artist. Not a great living. But his work was exceptional," longtime friend
Now, Crawford is getting his due in the form of a solo exhibit, "
Featuring 28 paintings, the exhibit showcases a remarkable range, including delicate portraits, expressive abstracts and large, highly detailed historical works, such as "Thutmose III (after Herget)," which depicts Egyptian King Thutmose III, the sixth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, attacking the Syrians.
"It's so varied that it was difficult to hang the show," says
Many of the paintings Wick owns and has loaned for the exhibit have an Egyptian theme, such as "Temple of Anubis," which depicts an Egyptian pyramid of polished limestone, surrounded by servants, as it was in the historical period.
All were commissioned to decorate Wick's home in
"At the time, I bought a house and I needed art, and Jon could create a painting in the colors and style that I wanted," Schwarz says of the painting, which was influenced by Schwarz's liking of Southwest and Native American designs.
But it was his work for the city's interior designers and decorators that would come to define his career.
"He could do design, but he worked for them as an artist," Georg says. "The decorators would hire him and have him do finishes."
Along with collaborating with designers
Georg says Crawford also excelled at landscape design.
"He did gardens for people, and ponds that were just spectacular," Georg says. "When I lived in the Mexican War Streets, that yard that he did there rivaled
Georg says the Crawford family home, situated on seven-and-a-half acres in
"It was like a walk through a botanical garden that someone would have on tour," Georg says of the grounds around the home. "I mean, it was just incredible."
Crawford was one of five siblings. They are each depicted, along with his parents, in the painting "Crawford Family Portrait" from 1992, which is housed in a frame featuring a delicately painted green-leaf design of Crawford's own creation.
"He referred to it as 'Happy Land,' because the Crawfords are a little bit nuts," Georg says of the Crawford homestead. "They are. They are a very artistic family. And they were always arguing and fighting, but they had a great sense of humor.
"He was never very successful (financially)," Georg says of Crawford. "I mean, he had his struggles, but he was incredibly talented."
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