God, Goats, and Pickup Trucks
Maurice Schmidt’s Visions of Texas
Seated Old Man
1956, Oil on linen
“This painting depicts an elderly man sitting on a bench in the heat of a San Antonio day. A church can be seen in the background, indicative of the Spanish architecture and the deep history of the city. He is holding a white cane, suggesting a slower pace of life. My interaction with him was brief, but I have never forgotten him. I grew up near San Antonio and went to synagogue there, and I consider it my favorite city. I became fascinated with the ambiance of San Antonio. In other cities, there is less visual, historical depth and there’s a faster rhythm of people rushing hither and thither. Every city has history, but it is not always revealed.
San Antonio wears its age on its sleeve, and it carries it well. There is a slowness about San Antonio that I really like, with all classes of people intermingling and living life in a moving stream. I would carry my sketch pad around the city and sketch street scenes. San Antonians are so diverse, and I felt like I was able to see the world parading in front of me. Everyday life becomes beautiful there.”