Rita McWhorter was born on November 14, 1933 in Eldorado, Texas, a small farming and ranching community in the Western part of the state. As the daughter of a noted Texas artist, Elizabeth Elder, Rita grew up watching her mother create some of the most warm and beautiful paintings ever produced of the Texas Hill Country. It was clear early on, that Rita had inherited Elizabeth's gift of capturing on canvas the stunning and dramatic landscapes of West Texas.
Rita began her own career as a professional artist in 1954. She quickly became recognized across the state as one of Texas's most talented artist. She was chosen in 1972 to be Texas' Resident artist, and her work hung in the US Capital in Senator John Tower's office, and in countless homes across the state.
Most notably, one of Rita's paintings was proudly hung in the bedroom of President Lyndon Johnson on his ranch near Johnson City, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.
Rita has donated her talent to create the Lee portrait, based on the famous
Mathew Brady photograph.
Rita's Talent is probably best described in a poem dedicated to her by noted poet Dan A. Hoover, which we present below:
To A Select Few
(Dan a Hoover)
When Heaven handed down her priceless gifts,
To save the beauty of this matchless land,
She dedicated as a part of it,
The talent now expressed by Rita's hand.
Then to her sharp, discerning eyes a gift.
To read and then interpret with her heart,
And so preserve for all the years to come,
God's wonders re-created by her art.