Kirby Rogère Obituary
Daniel Rogers, also known by his artist name Rogère,
died surrounded by his seven children in Austin, Texas, at
sunset on March 11, 2006.
The oldest of 12, Kirby was born in Jeanerette Louisiana on
February 14, 1929 to Marguerite Minvielle and Kirby Serafin
Rogers. Kirby Rogère was a fabulous, versatile and
prolific painter and sculptor. He painted still lifes,
landscapes and abstracts. He also constructed masks and
impressionistic pieces. Rogère’s art was influenced by
both his Cajun upbringing as well as by great artists,
classical musicians and places from around the globe. His
vibrant work is populated with dancers, musicians, musical
instruments and birds. He also produced an abundance of
French Quarter scenes and bayou landscapes.
to 1952 he served in the US Navy and fought in the Korean War.
After being honorably discharged he landed in New York City
where he met and married Ariadne Pascual. He was inspired by
and received guidance from his father-in-law, Manolo Pascual,
a renowned Spanish sculptor from the Dominican Republic. With
Pascual’s encouragement, Kirby began his art career in earnest
at age 26.
to 1960 he lived in beat generation San Francisco, where he
studied with Wilson Ellsworth and Frederick Grant. In 1965
Kirby went to live in Cuernavaca, Mexico with his wife and
children, during a time of great artistic ferment in that
city. There he became friends with and studied under the late
Francisco Shum, a Spanish painter and refugee from the Spanish
Civil War. During this time Rogère also painted and
sold his work in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rogère moved back to the United States, and since then, he
lived, painted and showed his art in galleries in Austin, New
Orleans, Lafayette, and in his own gallery in Breaux
Bridge Louisiana. While in Breaux Bridge, he wound up in a
well-publicized showdown with local authorities for displaying
a painting of a nude in his gallery window.
primary focus was to paint rather than market his work, Kirby
lived off his art and supported his family with it for more
than 50 years. He remained a dedicated and prolific painter
until a few months before his death. He was passionate about
his art, and that zeal is apparent in many of the works he
also passionate about life. Strong willed, and with an
equally strong sense of humor, Kirby could just as
easily be found digging a ditch on his land in East Austin, painting an impressionistic work to the tune of Bach or Chopin, or
enjoying a bowl of gumbo with his family. Kirby was a
dedicated father, grandfather, brother and friend until the
day that he died. He will be sorely missed by his seven
children, Ruth Romaguera, Lili Rose, Clara Chase, Paul Rogers,
Willy Rogers, Maria Rogers Pascual, and Catalpa-Anne Rogers.
He will also be missed by his former wife Ariadne Wright who
remained a loving friend until the end; his eight surviving
siblings, and his eight grandchildren.
He left a
legacy of thousands of works that currently reside in
collections across the country. Many of his oil and acrylic
paintings remain to be collected. His most recent dream was to
open a gallery in East Austin named Bartok after the
composer. Nearly completed, the gallery will be the venue for
a celebration of Kirby’s life. Friends and family will gather
at 3 PM on April 1 for a memorial service at Saint Julia’s
Catholic Church on Lyons Road.