Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Mr. Grauer holds the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a double major in painting and art history from the University of Kansas and the Master of Arts degree in art history from Southern Methodist University. He worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Meadows Museum at SMU, and the Dallas Museum of Art, before becoming curator of art at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in 1987. He is also an instructor in art history at West Texas A&M University.
He has curated numerous exhibitions on historic Texas, New Mexico, and Southwestern art and history at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and as guest-curator for other institutions. He guest-curated “A Symphony of Shade and Light: Frank Reaugh and His Students,” for the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas (2001); “Of This Vast State: Women Artists of Texas, 1900-1960” for The Women’s Museum at Dallas (2006); and Frank Reaugh exhibitions for Abilene, Beaumont, College Station, Dallas, Denton, Houston, San Angelo, Terrell, and Tyler. He has lectured nationally on historic Southwestern art with an emphasis on Texas and New Mexico, and represented Texas at a national symposium on Regionalism at New York University in 2000. He is a charter member of CASETA and the Taos Society of Artists Historians. He was University of Kansas Kress Foundation Department of Art History’s distinguished alumnus for 2012.
Mr. Grauer is the author of W. Herbert Dunton: A Retrospective, co-author of Frank Reaugh: Windows on the American West (2015); Madonnas of the Prairie: Depictions of Women in the American West (2014); Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800-1945 (with his wife, Paula) Frank Paul Sauerwein: The Biography; and A Fine Sense of Poetry: The Life and Art of Joseph Amadeus Fleck. Mr. Grauer also wrote the essay on 20th-century Texas art for Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History, the essay on Texas patrons of Taos art for Taos Artists and Their Patrons, 1898-1950, wrote biographies on Dunton and W. R. Leigh for the Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Book and Magazine Illustrators to 1920, and an essay on Dunton for a forthcoming book on the Taos Society of Artists. Mr. Grauer's articles have appeared in American Art Review, Southwest Art, Persimmon Hill, The Pastel Journal, Western Art & Architecture, and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review.
Currently, Mr. Grauer does a living history program focused on 1890s cowboys in the Panhandle-Plains region, with an emphasis on the T Anchor Ranch. He lectures on historic cowboys, the Red River War, and historic Texas and New Mexico art across the American West. Mr. Grauer is also working on a W. Herbert Dunton catalogue raisonne, a history of the T Anchor Ranch, and biographies of Texas artists H. D. Bugbee and Ben Carlton Mead. His biography on Frank Reaugh, Rounded Up in Glory: Frank Reaugh, Texas Renaissance Man, has just been released by University of North Texas Press.
He has three children, Matthew (31), Hannah (24), and Sarah (20), and one grandchild, Otto Lee Grauer-Walls, soon to be two.