Elmer Schooly was painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born in Lawrence, Kansas. His childhood was spent in rural Oklahoma before the family moved to Colorado during the Great Depression.
Schooley received his BFA in 1938 from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his MA degree from the University of Iowa in 1941. That same year he married fellow artist, Gertrude “Gussie” Rogers and. in 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was sent of Officer Candidate School. During World War II, he was stationed in the South Pacific and Japan.
Schooley was an assistant professor at the New Mexico Western College in Silver City from 1946 to 1947. In 1947 he joined the faculty of the New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas and taught there for thirty years. As a professor of art he founded the lithography program at the university after he convincing the University to get its first lithography press. Although he practiced this for many years in addition to wood blocks and etching, he settled on oil painting as his favored medium and rarely did any print making in his later years. He taught classes in all the above media, in addition to art history.
Schooley was also a musician and played the cello, performing with the Highlands Orchestra, and a bird love, participating in the Audubon Christmas bird count.
Schooley’s work is in the collections of the Albuquerque Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Roswell Museum and Art Center, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
“Skinny” Schooley died at the age of 91 years old on 25 April 2007 in Roswell, New Mexico.