College of Communication and Fine Arts
University of Memphis Photo
In Memoriam: Larry Edwards

Art Professor Emeritus Larry Edwards, 82, passed away in September 2013.

Larry Edwards headshotA long-time resident of Memphis, he was born in Jackson, Miss., and grew up in Louisville, Miss. He graduated with a BFA from the university of Southern Mississippi and an MFA from the University of Mississippi.

He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Mattie Dunn Edwards, three children, Millett Vance, Beth Edwards and Mark Edwards, a grandson Ras Rossetti and his dog Socks. Elizabeth is a professor of Art at the University of Memphis and at times had shows with her father.

Early in his career, he painted abstracts and bucolic landscapes, but later moved to the grotesque and the ridiculous, pointing out the foibles of humanity through exaggeration and parable. His art challenged and instructed, often self-naming it art for truck drivers and little kids. His studio was a happy place with folk music, classical or opera playing as he worked. It was open to everyone—family, pets and neighbors. He was constantly teaching and talking about art.

During his teaching career, he was professor and chair at Penn State, Appalachian State and the University of Memphis. He retired in 1997 and turned to art full time, showing in Memphis at Gallery 56, Jay Etkin Gallery, Brooks Museum and Dixon Gallery and Gardens, as well as other galleries throughout the South. In New York, he showed at the Alternative Museum, Allan Frumkin Gallery and Sherry French Gallery.

A kind man, he constantly gave to individuals and to the community. His ultimate gift was donating his body to the Genesis Program for scientific education and research. In honor or his memory, his family asks that donations in his memory be made to establish a scholarship at the University of Memphis,, or via check made to the University of Memphis Foundation and mail it to Department 238, The U of M Foundation, P.O. Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148-0001. Call Katherine Goliver, director of Development for the College of Communication and Fine Arts, at 901.678.2350 for more information.

To learn more about Larry Edwards and his work visit

 Voices Home

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
College of Communication and Fine Arts | 901/678-2350 | Contact us
Last Updated: 4/8/14