American Art

Maher Morcos

American/Egyptian (1836-1910)


Maher Morcos began his career as an artist at the age of 13 when he began selling his watercolors to tourists that depicted scenes of daily life amongst the ancient ruins of Egypt. At age 14, he competed in an Egyptian government-sponsored national competition and won Best of Show. This resulted in a commission from the Ministry of Education in Cairo to illustrate high school textbooks. By the age of 15, he had his first one-man show in Cairo and started what would be a life long adventure in the world of fine art.

When it was time for Morcos to pursue a college education, his parents urged him to study law or medicine because they wanted their son to be a “professional”. Instead he chose architecture, since it was the closest thing to art, and still acceptable to his parents. It was during his college years that Morcos nurtured his love of music and learned to play the saxophone. He concluded his formal education in 1968, by obtaining a degree in both Architecture and Fine Art.

After finishing college, Morcos played his saxophone professionally for four years in the nightclubs of Cairo. He then left Egypt to play with a jazz band in Sudan. From there he ventured to Chicago where first began to sell his work through established galleries such Circle Gallery and Arts International Gallery.

By 1971, he was ready for another adventure so he traveled to Paris to study fashion design. He eventually left Paris for the South of France where he drew with pastels on the sidewalks of Nice and collected money in a hat from tourists. Shortly after his adventure in France, Morcos returned to the United States in an effort to expand his exposure through more galleries. But by 1974 he was again ready to travel, and he journeyed to Rio de Janeiro where he spent a year taking in the local scenery and carving out a living drawing on sidewalks once again.

Finally, in 1975, Morcos decided that it was time to take his career in art more seriously and he returned to Chicago to focus on his passion for American western art. His success in the field of western art was no small accomplishment. Due to his Egyptian heritage, many art experts and collectors were biased about his ability to truly capture the essence of the American West. His determination to prove himself and overcome the prejudice required him to be a far better artist than most American artists. With lots of determination and talent he accomplished this goal, and surprised the critics, by winning many medals and honors in prestigious western art shows such as the Charles Russell show and the George Phippen show. He was also invited to become a member of many prestigious Western organizations including Western Heritage and the Western Artists of America.

Morcos has clearly earned his position amongst the worlds most accomplished artists regardless of the subject matter. He continues to explore new worlds through his extensive travels and produce visual images that have a way of captivating his audience and winning their respect.