Waco painter Kermit Oliver is hardly unknown.
His deeply allegorical work was included in the inaugural exhibition of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. There was a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2005. And curator Dave Hickey selected him for SITE Santa Fe’s fourth International Biennial in 2001.
Despite this storied history, Oliver has remained peripheral to the Texas art world and is best known as the postal worker who became the first American to design a scarf for the French fashion house Hermès.
Born into a family of ranch workers in Refugio, Texas, in 1943, Oliver would go on to study at Texas Southern University in Houston. Having decided against a career in teaching, and although exhibiting with Houston galleries, he took a job with the U.S. Postal Service. In 1984, he and his family moved to Waco. He