Kermit Oliver

Kermit Oliver, born on August 14, 1943, in Refugio, Texas, is an American painter and the first American artist to create designs for Hermès. His work reflects his Texan heritage and interests in mythology, religion, and history.

Oliver was born in Refugio, Texas, where his father worked as a cowboy on a cattle ranch. From a young age, he displayed a talent for drawing cattle, horses, and the flora and fauna of southern Texas. In 1960, he enrolled at Texas Southern University in Houston, where he studied under artist John T. Biggers. In 1962, he married fellow art student Katie Washington.

In 1968, Oliver began teaching art at Texas Southern University and the Art League of Houston. However, he soon left teaching to work as a full-time mail sorter for the United States Postal Service, first in Houston and then in Waco, Texas, starting in 1984. He believed that a stable income was the best way to support his family. Oliver retired from the postal service in 2013 but continued to work as an artist. According to journalist Anne Lamotte, he became the first African American artist to exhibit in a major Houston gallery and the first American to design Hermès scarves while still working as a postal worker.

Throughout his career, Oliver designed the following scarves for Hermès:

Oliver’s exceptional designs for Hermès beautifully capture his passion for Texan heritage and his wide-ranging interests in art and history.

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