Ragan Gennusa was born in Rosebud, Texas, in 1944 and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas. As a young boy, he loved the outdoors, athletics and art, and at an early age, Ragan knew that he wanted more than anything to be an artist.
Ragan was All-state in track and an All-state quarterback for Port Arthur High School and attended the University of Texas on a football scholarship where he studied art. Ragan credits his training as an athlete for teaching him the value of courage, tenacity, and discipline, and the importance of character in pursuit of life as well as an artistic career. He graduated from U.T. with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968.
In 1985, Ragan was honored by the State Legislature’s selecting him the 1985-86 Texas State Artist. In 2005, he was a recipient of the Stars of Texas Award from the Gillespie County Historical Society, and in 2006 he received the John Ben Sheppard Jr. Award from the Texas Historical Foundation for his outstanding achievement in historic preservation. In addition, he won the Briscoe Museum Purchase Award in 2016 and the Briscoe Museum Patron’s Choice Award in 2017.
His paintings hang in private and corporate collections nationwide, including, The Briscoe Western Art Museum, New York Life Insurance Company in New York City, and the national office of The Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America in Ft. Worth. Several of his longhorn paintings are prominently displayed in the University of Texas Alumni Center, and he has done longhorn paintings symbolizing the University of Texas football program.
Ragan has owned longhorn cattle since 1984. Because of their historical significance to the state of Texas and his alma mater, Ragan chose to honor the longhorn in much of his work. His later years were spent in the hill country outside of Dripping Springs, Texas, in a house he built with a studio.