About Ralph Nagel


Ralph is a businessman, philanthropist, and painter. His remarkable success in business has offered him the opportunity to take part and make a mark in the thriving art community of Denver. Nagel has studied with notable teachers including John Hull, Molly Davis and Boris Shoshensky whom he co-founded the painting group Studio 208. Nagel and members of Studio 208 have painted together throughout Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico and Ireland. In collaboration with Les Rats de Champ a painter group based in Paris, Nagel has ventured into the art of plein air painting in USA, Thailand, Spain, Croatia and France.

He is interested in creating works that balance between spontaneity and control. Painting in large scale gives him the freedom to use broad, open strokes to produce paintings that fuse Realism with elements of personal interpretation. 

In Ralph’s words, “Truly seeing the subject of my art only takes place once the painting begins. It's about that day, that moment. I would be lost if I knew the end when I begin.”


Ralph’s paintings have been exhibited in many regional and national juried exhibitions.

His work has been exhibited in the Loveland Art Museum, Wildlife Experience Museum,
Littleton History Museum, Foothills Art Center, and the Colorado State Capital.

His paintings are also in private collections in the Americas, Australia, France, Italy,
Brazil, Thailand, and New Zealand.

Selected Awards & Honors

Solo Show:  Pattern Shop Gallery, Denver, Colorado (2015)

Solo Show:  Lone Tree Art Center, Lone Tree, Colorado (2014)

Solo Show:  Loveland Art Museum, Loveland, Colorado (2014)

Solo Show:  Littleton History Museum, Littleton, Colorado (2013)

Solo Show:  Denver Athletic Club, Denver, Colorado (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)

Solo Show:  Chamber Center, Denver University, Denver Colorado (2010 & 2011)

Les Rats des Champs Association d'Art Nomade Group Exhibitions, Paris, France (2008, 2009 & 2010)

2nd Place, Loveland Art Museum, Loveland, Colorado (2010)

Honorable Mention, Artists of Colorado State Exhibition, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, Colorado (2007)

2nd Place, Plein Air Artists Colorado - 10th Annual Exhibition, Angler Art Gallery, Denver, Colorado (2006)

Award of Excellence & Award of Merit, Bold Expressions, Northern California Arts, Inc., Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Sacramento, California (2005)

Community Leadership

Life Trustee - Denver University, Honors:  Founder's Medal 2017; Nagel Residence Hall and Nagel Art Studios Hall 

Life Trustee - Washington University in St. Louis, Honor:  Endow Ralph Nagel Dean Chair, Sam Fox School of Design

Founder - Alliance for School Choice (ACE)

Founder - Meridian Retirement Communities

Founder - Top Rock, LLC


Master of Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri (1969)

Master of City Planning; Master of Urban Design, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (1972)

“   As in life, painting is about having the courage to take risks towards an outcome that is unknown   ”   - Ralph Nagel

As in life, painting is about having the courage to take risks towards an outcome that is unknown

- Ralph Nagel