Myers B Cather
Written by Johnny Cox – Nephew
Bud had the good fortune to inherit the Myers and Cather genes. He had obtained the work ethic of his father HB Cather and grandfather and was a workaholic like them. He obtained the artistic photographic genes and calm demeanor from his mother Imogene Myers. These genes made him an outstanding artist, entrepreneur, businessman and a very athletic and creative individual. Bud’s skills in art, business management, people management and creative ideas took him a long long way.
He accomplished a great deal in his 97 years of life and died very fulfilled having the experiences of 99 lives. Nothing can match a life being born as Myers Hershey Cather (yes the are related) on the Wyoming prairie, growing up in Lincoln Nebraska, playing football, attending UNL designing sorority house and department store Christmas decorations. Attending the LA Art Center designing movie sets and promotions with Salvador Dali. He flew B17, B24, B29 Bombers in two major wars. He left his mark by designing his bomber squadron patch graphics and insignias on each of his planes. And then go on to an entrepreneur business career in advertising, marketing and business management at a time when the growth of consumer products was raging in the 60s. On weekends he would go horse back riding with Art Linkletter.
He had a wonderful family life with various activities from photography, painting, travel, antiquing, horses and equestrian. His beautiful wife Margaret had a great eye for antiques. She had followed Bud in his career to the ends of the earth. His three talented artistic daughters Jane, Paula and Cindy express their artistic talents in contemporary art (dolls), dressage, and marketing antiques. His two artistic granddaughters Laura and Tracy found their niche in art creations and silver jewelry design.
Bud spent his whole life in some sort of artistic endeavor – advertising, marketing, photography, painting, and wood carving. In the 60s, while at Bristol Myers, Bud spent vacation time in Jamaica and photographed birds on the beach and people in the streets. This lead to a series of paintings that were abstract in nature and utilized the bright colors and shapes that he saw in the people and character of Jamaica inspired by the pop art influence of the 60s. His use of black lines, bright colors and interesting curves makes this collection of artwork very unique. He continued the sculpture and painting in the 1980s and 90s adding to his collection. He carved a series of sculptures of wood birds like sandpipers and pelicans. These too emphasized curved lines and interesting character. His ability to capture realistic movement in his stick figure subjects was impressive.
His warm calm personality was an invaluable asset in training his students… wheither painting on canvas or flying a B24 Bomber.
I had the very good fortune to take art classes from him at the early age of 4 for the price of 5 cents a class. He was an entrepreneur with everything. This good fortune continued beyond my college years as Bud became my mentor on how to be a good an “ad-man” with marketing skills.
The frugal attitude from his father carried over to the framing of his paintings. Each painting was framed with old battered boards giving them a rustic but distinctive look.
All this creative outpouring all started with my grandmother, Imogene Myers Cather. She bought her first Kodak Brownie camera in 1908 to capture and carry on all our family memories. Or possibly before. Author Willa Cather, another relative, had the creative mindfulness to observe her surroundings and tell the story in the printed word.
And not to leave out my grandfather HB (Howard), he was the task master that taught us all the work ethic. He had his own creative flair as a brick layer. He built many of the old brick buildings you see around Lincoln. He held our feet to the fire! He taught me the art of the carpentry skill of straightening nails and laying brick. (I built my backyard patio and waterfalls out Italian quartz stone). Buds brother Bob was a business partner painting air markers and carried on the families Cather Construction business with brother Howard. Bob also attended art school at UNL.
Bud inherited this creative mindfulness from both his parents. His knowledge, experience, skill and insights were endless. His ability to observe his surroundings and the character of people allowed him to share these impressions in his artwork. Much like Willa Cather did with the written word.
Bud was also a great teacher and story teller of art… he was a natural starting with wonderful drawings before age 15… he was a master of most mediums. While at the LA Art Center he painted Hollywood movie sets with Salvador Dali. His most favorite medium was photography… all of his painting / sculptures were reproduced from his photography… he was a master of composition… he painted mostly with a knife not brushes. He started teaching me when I was 4 years old and taught his daughters and grand daughters to be able to use every tool available in the art world… he would say“let the tool do the work”. He never believed in one medium or one source of inspiration… he taught us to look at a subject and determine 6 different interpretations of what it represented… his daughters/grand daughters demonstrate this skill today as stated in their quotes. The multi-disciplined UNL art school with international training is exactly what Bud would encourage.