Charles Truett Williams: The Art of the Scene

November 5, 2022–May 7, 2023

An avant-garde existentialist from rural Texas, Charles Truett Williams was a charismatic mix of beatnik and disciplined artist. He brought Atomic Age modernism with him from Europe after World War II to a booming Fort Worth. Rejuvenating the city’s art scene with vital new artistic forms, his studio became the heart of a midcentury salon.

Charles Truett Williams: The Art of the Scene examines Fort Worth’s midcentury art scene through the presentation of more than 30 works by Williams and the artistic community that was drawn to his studio salon. Accompanying works on paper and sculptures are photos and drawings from the recently acquired archive of Williams, which enhance the Carter’s strong holding of artist archives and show that the legacy he created in less than two decades resonates long after his sudden death at age 48.

The Art of the Scene continues the Museum’s research into the artistic legacies of underrepresented artists as part of the Gentling Study Center mission.


To accompany the exhibition, the Carter has published a free e-book on Williams’s art and life, utilizing interviews and the extensive Charles Truett Williams Papers held at the Carter and the Charles T. Williams papers, 1949-1966 in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Eminent scholars, in a series of three essays and a biographical timeline, explore the under-studied life and work of this midcentury Texas genius.

Screenshot of "The Art of the Scene" e-publication.




Installation Photos

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Image: Charles T. Williams, Untitled [Study for fountain], 1954, bronze, 15 x 8 x 8 in., private collection. © Karl B. Williams.

Charles Truett Williams: The Art of the Scene is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. The exhibition is generously supported by Morris Matson.