Geoffrey Baker, Fine Artist and Charmer of All

Posted by on September 14, 2010 with 0 Comments

The brilliant Geoffrey Baker passed away on April 12, 2011. His spirit, humour, wit, creativity, sweetness, and appreciation for beauty touched hundreds and hundreds of lives. Fairfield is honoured to have served as his home for so many years.

Below I have compiled photos of some of my favorite Geoffrey Baker paintings. They are full of vitality, beauty and light. I have also been regularly updating the article to include the many quotes and stories people have been sending me about this most quirky and sparkly of humans. Enjoy.

- Adrien

BY THE SEA by Geoffrey Baker

“I worked as Geoffrey’s assistant for five years,(1985-90) when I was an undergrad and grad student in fine art at MUM. I helped him with his lectures and did mounts for his paintings. He had such joy about every little thing. Any suggestion I would make when asked how to make a painting he was working on better became  ”inspired genius” and was praised tot the hilt.

He gave out nicknames. I was”The Leader of the Band”. Every day upon entry into his studio Geoffrey would sing my name to the song “Macnameras Band”. We would sing George Formby songs and he’d quiz me on Beatles songs and tell wonderful stories while he painted and I cut mats.

In an interview he did for The Fairfield Source he was asked, “which would you consider the highest of all the arts?” His answer was, “Well, we could start with Thoreau – ‘to affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the
arts.’ “

I believe he did.

I kept in touch with Geoffrey over the years by phone.  We spoke just about a week before his passing. We talked about Maharishi and the purity of this knowledge. Geoffrey’s kindness and undying devotion to Maharishi’s knowledge
inspires me to this day.” - Thomas Johnson, fine artist

 

FIRST STEPS by Geoffrey Baker

“Geoffrey Baker was one of my favorite visitors at Flying Leap Art Space during this past year. He would come and spend the whole afternoon, going through every inch of the gallery, making beautiful, astute comments about every little thing. His artistic eye noticed things that no one else noticed—the way a chair was placed, the colors of objects on a table, a new art book in the library—and he expressed appreciation in such a kind and detailed way. And what a painter he was! His remarkable little paintings, so full of vitality and love, amazed and inspired everyone. I will miss him greatly!” - Donna Colby, artist and owner of Flying Leap Art Space

“Geoffrey Baker was a great friend to me and my family during my time as MIU Faculty. Even when career took me away, we often talked by phone over the passing years. We shared a few laughs only two weeks before his passing. Geoffrey was a uniquely wise and intelligent man with a sense of humor that could catch you off guard. When we left Fairfield, Geoffrey gave us a small painting–done on the inside of a cereal box–which he found an efficient and low cost art media! Geoffrey’s stories and humor will linger as fond memories.” Dr. Robert Ketchum, CEO of The Ketchum Group, LLC

FLYING LEAP by Geoffrey Baker

“I didn’t have Geoffrey as an art professor, but of course I knew about his stellar reputation. My own experience was seeing him as a dancer! At the college dances Geoffrey would be right out there in the middle with tons of energy – and it was so inspiring! He always had a smile on his face and literally twinkle in his eyes! He will be missed by all!” – Lonica Eisenbraun, Natural Selections & The Organic Company

ICE CREAM I by Geoffrey Baker

“In his presentations, Geoffrey always let the paintings speak for themselves first, letting us use our own eyes. His comments were subtle, often humorous and always expansive. His voice was soft and both playful and reverential. You felt that he knew the painters personally. At the end of 90 minutes, I was always a better human being.

He appreciated everyone and everyone appreciated him. Once on his birthday, I drew a face on a balloon and taped it on the door of his studio. Several months later, he invited me there to see some paintings and the balloon was there on his wall, bobbing around. He said he loved the face and asked me to do the introduction for his next presentation.

I waxed poet and that Sunday, poured it all out. Looking up after a couple minutes, I saw Geoffrey waving an arm. I could have gone on and on. The man was a joy to know.” - Roger Pelizzari, Maharishi Purusha Program


“I took one of my first classes at M.U.M. from Geoffrey Baker. He was teaching Painting I, and he began by going over the basic principles of drawing. That class changed my life. In an instant this teacher had made clear to me what 3 years of high school and extra curricular art classes had been attempting to do. The rest of the class was taught with the same abruptness and clarity and it would be no exaggeration to say that it changed the way I looked at everything, just a little. Whenever I would see Prof. Baker around town, he would always invite me to tea and to have a drawing lesson at his house, assuring me that just one lesson with him and I would know everything. And I don’t doubt that it is true.” - Hilary Nelson, fine artist

ICE CREAM II by Geoffrey Baker

Geoffrey Baker studied at Fettes College, Cardiff University & College of Art, and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. He taught painting and drawing and lectured on art & consciousness from 1958 – 1978. At that point he moved to Fairfield, Iowa and became Professor of Art at the Maharishi University of Management. His paintings have been exhibited at such prestigious venues as the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Scottish Academy, The South London Art Gallery, the Royal College of Art, and the London Group and his work has been purchased by the president and council of the Royal Academy.

If you have a story or memory about Geoffrey you would like to share, please contact us HERE.

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