One of Perry Nichols’ murals for the Sears, Roebuck & Co. store on Ross and Greenville avenues. Photo courtesy of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association

Perry Nichols is best known for painting the murals inside the historic Lakewood Theater, but the prolific artist was commissioned for several works throughout Dallas.

In a Dallas Morning News article from 1947, Nichols was featured for painting five large murals on the main floor of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. store on Ross and Greenville avenues. 

The murals depicted the agriculture of the region and included images of cotton, wheat, cattle and oil.

They extend 7 feet from the ceiling and varied in width from 45 to 75 feet. Some were located in awkwardly shaped areas or were obstructed by light fixtures or poles.

“However, Mr. Nichols has made such adroit adaptation to these difficulties that they are, for the most part, quite inconspicuous,” the newspaper reported. “He has a nice feeling for mural composition…and combines the required feeling of solidarity with enough movement and suggestion of power to hold attention.”

He also created the poetic legends in the center of the murals.

Nichols’ interest in art began while attending the Vickery Place School. He attended Bryan Street High School before transferring to Woodrow Wilson High School, where he graduated in 1929.

At the time the Sears murals were created, Nichols was serving as head of the art faculty at The Hockaday School when it was still located on Greenville and Belmont avenues.

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