Celebrating Illinois Women Artists 1840 to 1940
Biographical Sketches by Channy Lyons Illinois Women Artists Project
For the exhibition Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists 1840-1940 Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences Peoria, Illinois October 1, 2011-January 15, 2012 Quincy Art Center Quincy, Illinois February 10-March 18, 2012 Tarble Art Center Charleston, Illinois May 26-September 6, 2012
Copyright 2011 by Illinois Women Artists Project. All rights reserved. The text, images, and data on the Projectâ€™s website (the "Site") are protected by copyright and may be covered by other restrictions as well. Copyright and other proprietary rights may be held by individuals or entities other than, or in addition to, the Project. The Materials are made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws.
Illinois Women Artists Project http://iwa.bradley.edu Peoria, Illinois Cover image: Garada Clark Riley (1893-1991) North Shore Landscape, circa 1935 Oil on canvas, 33 in. x 39 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences/Gift of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Marshall 2008.23.
Contents Introduction Biographical sketches and images Exhibition checklist Notes
"Chicago's women painters are, on the whole, superior to Chicago's men, and…are more inventive, more original than its men." --C. J. Bulliet, "Salon of Chicago's Women," Chicago Daily News Nov. 5, 1938
Introduction "If we can change the way we see our past, it absolutely changes the way we see the future." --Stacey Robertson, PhD, History and Women's Studies Department Chair, Bradley University
About the Illinois Women Artists Project The purpose of the Illinois Women Artists Project is to rediscover women artists who worked throughout Illinois between 1840 and 1940, and to provide an appreciation of their work and experiences. Until now, little has been known about many of these artists. We are gathering information about these artists. We are interested in their workâ€”
paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and photographs—and in how they managed their creative lives. We’re curious about their experiences, and the roles they played in the history of Illinois and the Midwest. To learn their stories, look at their work, and recognize their strengths enriches our cultural history and supports the value of women’s art and the integrity of their experience. Their work demonstrates the rich diversity of art created by Illinois women. One of the most exciting aspects of the IWA Project is that it has become a collaboration of contributors from around the state: art historians, librarians, art club members, university students, writers, collectors, artists’ relatives. Information and biographical stories about the artists are included in a da-
tabase that is available through our website, which was designed and is hosted by Bradley University in Peoria. We are eager to make the information weâ€™re gathering accessible, engaging and usable to a variety of audiences in large and small Illinois communities. The IWA Project will give todayâ€™s women a link to their heritage and history, and provide a cultural foundation for them to build on. It offers viewers the opportunity to become historians and to participate in documenting our creative past. About the Exhibition Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists 1840-1940 is a unique and distinctive collection of seventy paintings, prints, draw-
ings, and sculpture by sixty Illinois women artists who worked in the state in different decades, under various conditions, using a variety of styles and subjects. Most of the artists were successful during their lifetimes. Many trained at leading art schools; their works were selected by juries to enter top exhibitions; and they won their good share of awards and medals. They organized art clubs, created posters to support women's rights, opened galleries, ran art schools, joined the art union, initiated nojury exhibitions, raised families…and they taught and inspired future generations of women artists. Yet, little is known about them today. The exhibit organized by Lakeview Museum provides visitors an opportunity to
appreciate the artists' works and experiences. Images of their artwork as well as audio clips about the artists are also available at http://iwa.bradley.edu/lakeview. To Visitors and Readers I hope you find a work of art that you love. You'll remember it long after the exhibition ends, maybe for the rest of your life. I hope the exhibit inspires women and girls to be creative. It will change the way you think about what you see. Take a class. Carry a small sketchpad with you and draw whatever is before you â€“ your cat, what you see outside your window, someone you love, a leaf, a painting. Early women artists did. Today more than ever we need creative, innovative thinkersâ€Śstudents whether they
become artists, electricians, or software designers…and women entering new phases of their lives where their contributions can be substantial. I hope it encourages all of us to pay attention to women-made art, to look for it. If you love it, buy it. Your purchase changes everything for the artist and increases the value of all women's art. Oak Park painter Grace Hall Hemingway (Ernest's mother) said that "the only thing in life that gives real happiness is creative work." She constructed a creative life of her own. So did the other women in the exhibit. It took effort then, as it does today. They made opportunities for themselves. I love these women artists because they had
the courage, the tenacity, and the smarts to keep going. We can learn from them. --Channy Lyons, director of the Illinois Women Artists Project and guest curator of the Skirt ing Convention: Illinois Women Artists 1840 to 1940 Exhibition
Gertrude Abercrombie (Born 1909, Austin, Texas Died 1977, Chicago, Illinois)
Gertrude Abercrombie Self-Portrait in White Beret, 1935 Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 in. x 35 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Gertrude Abercrombie would tell you if she could that the Great Depression was a good thing for her. In 1934, she was hired by the Illinois Arts Project, a federal relief program for artists, from which she received a monthly wage, art materials, and the freedom to develop the themes and surrealist art style she would pursue for the rest of her life. She was 26 years old and finally able to rent her own apartment in Chicago. Beginning in 1935, she showed her work in 30 of the juried annual exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago No-Jury Society and the Chicago Society of Artists exhibits, the Katherine Kuh Gallery, the University of Chicago's Renaissance Society, and the 57th Street Outdoor Art Fair.
In 1940, she married attorney Bob Livingston, and two years later, her daughter Dinah was born. In 1948, she divorced Bob and married a society burglar called Frank Sandiford, who had spent time in Stateville Prison. She supported them from the sale of her artwork. They divorced in 1966. Gertrude was raised in a musical family. Her parents were singers who, at the time of her birth, worked for a traveling opera company. She, however, loved jazz for its improvisational qualities and because it was not the conventional music of her childhood. On Sundays, she held a salon in her home on South Dorchester that was open to everyone in the community, especially jazz musicians who would hold jam sessions in her living room. Dizzy Gillesppie came when he was
in town, and so did Sarah Vaughan. Gertrude joined them on the piano. These were heady times for her. She was the center of the gatherings and the self-proclaimed "Queen of Chicago," which in her avantgarde art, music, and literary circles, she was.1 Yet her paintings are sparseâ€”and, as she suggested, "a little strange."2 The objects she includes functioned as personal symbols, and the solitary female figure she painted was always her. "My work comes directly from my inner consciousness," she said.3 What interested her were ideas and feelings, not the techniques and materials of painting. "Others may be better painters," she said, "but I'm a better artist."4 What she produced were landscapes, still lifes, self-portraits
(which Susan Weininger refers to as a "therapeutic mirror"), and interiors.5 Her surreal works are, as she put it, "almost always pretty real. Only mystery and fantasy have been addedâ€ŚIt becomes my own dream."6 Gertrude died in 1977, after a decadelong decline brought on by her alcoholism. In the last years of her life, she worked on her "Joke Book," a compilation of oneliners, anecdotes, and stories that was never published. She arranged in her will that a selection of her best paintings from different periods would be donated to museums. In this way, she ensured that her work would be seen after her death and her legacy would live on.
Gertrude Abercrombie The Pump, 1938 Oil on canvas, 24 in. x 30 in. Permanent Collection â€“ Western Illinois University Art Gallery, Macomb, Illinois; New Deal Allocation, Courtesy General Services Administration (GSA), Washington, D.C.
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/GertrudeAbercrombie.
Jean Crawford Adams (Born 1886, Chicago, Illinois Died 1972, Oak Park, Illinois)
Jean Crawford Adams Looking West from the Fine Arts Building, circa 1933 Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 in. x 38 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection
When Jean Crawford Adams returned to Chicago in the late 1920s after several years of living in Paris and traveling in the American Southwest, she found a new way of expressing what she saw in the city where she'd grown up. The town on the lake had become America's industrial capital, the nation's second largest city, adding to the country's image of economic might and power throughout the world. Jean wanted to capture that energy in her work, and she chose Precisionism as the style in which to do it. Precisionism was an American invention, a response to European Cubism and Futurism. It focused on industrial and mechanical subjects, particularly industrial architecture. At its purest, the Precisionist art
style dealt with form, and became increasingly abstract. While flattening buildings, yet continuing to suggest depth and perspective, Precisionist painters celebrated American industry, giving scenes during the Great Depression a feeling of endless possibility. Jean Crawford Adams was one of the first Precisionist artists. She shares the view from the window of her studio in the Fine Arts Building on South Michigan Avenue, looking west across the rooftops of offices and factories holding water tanks perched on three legs and chimneys billowing smoke, to the Art Deco Board of Trade Building constructed in 1930 and capped with a 31-foot tall statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain and harvest. Airplanes fly in a cloudy, darkening sky.
Asked what had the greatest influence on her art, Adams responded, "Chicago . . . the hustle and turmoil of this great windy city of ours, its dynamic force, the titanic upheavals of its politics, its hugeness and vitality." She added, "Chicago's contribution to art in generalâ€”and to architecture and literatureâ€”is genuinely and distinctively American: American in spirit and in feeling." 1
Jean Crawford Adams Federal Building, 1935 Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 in. x 29 in. Collection of Harlan J. Berk
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/JeanAdams.
Rifka Angel (Born 1899, Calvaria, Russia Died 1986, New York City)
Rifka Angel Art Appreciation Class, 1933 Oil on canvas, 33 1/4 in. x 39 1/2 in. Lent by Bernie Friedman
About 1912, Rifka Angel emigrated to America from Calvaria, Russia, settling first
in New York City with her family and later in Chicago. Like her father, who sketched and embroidered in his spare time, she had an interest in art making, which he and others encouraged. Rifka was twenty-five-years old when she enrolled in her first art class, only to be advised by her instructor, illustrator and muralist Boardman Robinson, to go home and continue working on her own before she lost what was best about her workâ€”her spontaneity and originality.1 She followed his advice and continued to develop her own means of expression using vivid colors, textures, and intricate patterns. Before long, Rifka was showing her work in the Chicago Society of Artists member exhibitions and with the Chicago
No-Jury Society. By 1930, she was a member of The Ten, a group of Chicago modernist artists who were open to experimentation in their work. She exhibited with modernist Ramon Shiva (whose early chemistry training and experimentation led to the development of the Shiva Artist oil colors still popular today) at the Knoedler Gallery on Michigan Avenue. In 1929, she married Milton Warren Douthat, a naval architect, and when her daughter, Blossom Margaret, was born the following year, she became Rifka's favorite model. Rifka continued painting in her distinctive manner. Chicago art critic C. J. Bulliet declared that she was "a thorough-going modernist." He described her portraits of
Blossom Margaret and her neighborhood street scenes as "primitive and wise, sophisticated and naĂŻve."2 Popular or not, Rifka was simply doing what was right for her to do. Two years later she was asked to write a statement about her art for J. Z. Jacobson's review of fifty Chicago modern artists. She wrote: "Matisse compared the fulfillment of his art to an easy chair, in which one can conceive having a perfect restâ€”for what he seeks is an art of balance. Sometimes I feel that there is that in my workâ€”plus a bit of laughter. "My approach is spontaneous, emotional . . . I sing as I paint, and
thus relate my colors, and anything which stirs me to paint is worthwhile as a subject. I take form for granted. It is not an obsession with me; and when my painting is realized, form and color complement one another to create a consistent whole. Still, my drawing being emotional rather than studied, my sense of color often helps me express form. "All good artists of the past and present have influenced me, and my part is an expression of this age, plus that which I have learned of the past. I think in this connection of what Diego Rivera has said,
'Within every creative artist is the seed of another artist.'"3 The image above was painted at the time of the "Century of Progress" exhibition in Chicago. Daniel Catton Rich, director of the Art Institute of Chicago, gave a gallery tour to a group of women museum-goers. In the background are Picasso's Woman with a Fan and a Matisse of a woman in a boldly patterned interior.4 To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/RifkaAngel.
Hester Merwin Handley Ayers (Born 1902, Bloomington, Illinois Died 1975, New Smyrna Beach, Florida)
Hester Handley Ayers Zapotec Indian Woman, 1964 Conte crayon on paper, 25 1/2 in. x 20 1/4 in. Lent by McLean County Arts Center
In Hong Kong in 1929, Hester Merwin boarded the steamship Taiyo Maru en route to Los Angeles, California. The long voyage would have given her ample time to spread the sketches she had made in China around her cabin, reorganize them, and add a line of ContĂŠ crayon or charcoal here or there. She had been on the adventure of a lifetime, many would have thought. But for Hester, it was simply another opportunity to prepare portraits of people from remote regions of the earth. Hester had been travelling abroad since she was fifteen years old, her pad and pencil ready to capture the people and scenery she encountered. Over the years, she had studied art techniques in Florence, Italy; sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago; illustration in
New York City; easel painting in Taos, New Mexico; and mural painting at the University of Mexico. Once her direction became clear to her, she enhanced her art training by studying anthropology at Columbia and New York universities, and anatomy at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Her portraits benefited from her wideranging studies, demonstrating both her technical accomplishment and her sensitive eye. While in China in 1929, Hester had stayed in what she called the "western hills" outside Peking, where she spent several months in an old temple that had been arranged for summer living by the secretary at the US Embassy. At home, she exhibited her
drawings and watercolors at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. In the 1920s and '30s, she travelled to far-off places almost every year. In 1937, Hester Merwin Handley (she had married her first husband by then) was a member of an expedition to Lapland in the northern parts of Scandinavia. The group studied the culture of the Sami, or Reindeer Lapps, as the nomadic reindeer herders were commonly called. For several weeks, she lived with a native family, "gaining their confidence," as she told a Bloomington newspaper, "and eventually being able to photograph and sketch themâ€Ś."1 Some years later, she donated her drawings to the Smithsonian, and in 1965, she established a student award for "outstanding
achievement during four years of undergraduate study in art" at Illinois Wesleyan University. In the 1970s, the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, named a gallery for her. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/HesterAyers.
Frances Badger (Born 1904, Kenilworth, Illinois Died 1997, Glencoe, Illinois)
Frances Badger Treasure Island I and II, 1935-1938 Opaque watercolor on paper, 17 1/2 in. x 43 3/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of the Artist
Frances Badger grew up in a comfortable home in Kenilworth on the north shore of Lake Michigan about thirty miles from Chicago. Her parents encouraged her inter-
est in art, and when she was six, her mother enrolled her in the Art Institute of Chicago's Saturday morning classes held in the basement of the nearby Winnetka Women's Club. "We drove there each week in a horse drawn carriage," she recalled in 1987. 1 Her early training led to further studies at the Art Institute school in Chicago, from which she graduated in 1925. She took mural painting with John W. Norton, and decorated a number of walls as part of the WPA's Illinois Art Project during the Great Depression. Her regionalist-style murals showed her passion for nature. In fact, most of her work suggested her interest in "depicting the beauty and charm of the good earth's living creatures," as she put it when defining her
work for the Chicago Society of Artist's history in 1979.2 For example, in 1933, she portrayed young girls by a stream in springtime and at a farm in early fall for the murals she prepared for the girls' dining and living rooms in Chicago's Juvenile Detention Home in another WPA assignment. Both were typical of the reassuring images of Midwestern life that the WPA organizers preferred. When she was asked to develop murals for the Robert Louis Stevenson Playground Field House in Oak Park, the subject was an easy decision for Frances, who loved Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. She showed the beginning of the story on one panel and scenes of island life on the other. The murals were savedâ€”retrieved from a dumpsterâ€”
when the field house was torn down in 1966.3 Her preparatory sketches, seen here, are in the collection of the Illinois State Museum. Frances taught at the Saturday Junior School at the Art Institute and at Roycemore School in Evanston, Illinois. She was served as president of the Chicago Society of Artists in the early 1940s and was Gallery Director of the Old Town Triangle Art Center in the 1970s.
Frances Badger Vollendam Board of Trade, 1930 Oil, 28 in. x 40 in. John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Collection, Vanderpoel Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/FrancesBadger.
Martha Susan Baker (Born 1871, Evansville, Indiana Died 1911, Chicago, Illinois)
Martha Susan Baker Self-Portrait, 1911 Oil on canvas, 44 in. x 32 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection
Martha Susan Baker was well known for her large easel studies in oil and later in pastel. She was recognized for the mural she painted in the tenth floor hallway of the Fine Arts Building across Michigan Avenue from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she maintained a studio. Yet it was her miniatures that were most prized. The small portraits usually only three inches in circumference, as the one shown below, were painted in watercolor on ivory. Imagine the precision, the draftsmanship, required to make such tiny paintings. Hers were said to be among the finest in the world. The demand for her miniatures compelled her to resign her teaching positions at the School of the Art Institute and the Chi-
cago Academy of Fine Art in order to spend more time painting. She exhibited widely in Chicago at the Art Institute and the Chicago World's Fair of 1893; in London at the Royal Academy in 1908; and in Paris at the 1900 Exposition Universelle and later at Paris Salons, winning a prize in 1909. While in Paris between 1906 and 1909, she learned to paint with pastels, which influenced her oil and watercolor painting, giving her overall style a modern cast of intense color, light, and texture.1 Earlier works were subdued, constructed from a neutral palette, and in the case of a landscape, atmospheric. However, the Self-Portrait shown here, which was made only months before her untimely death, is an example of
her new approach. The colors are pale, yet strong. Martha died in 1911, a few days before her fortieth birthday.
Martha Susan Baker Woman with Feathered Hat, n.d. Watercolor miniature John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Collection, Vanderpoel Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MarthaBaker.
Macena Barton (Born 1901, Union City, Michigan Died 1986, Chicago, Illinois)
Macena Barton Jimmy Vail, 1935 Oil on canvas, 21 in. x 23 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Macena Barton was an original. Flamboyant. A modernist, marginalized from the mainstream of Chicago's more traditional painters, just as she wanted to be. "My art," she said, "is a personal expression. I paint exactly what I feel and am not influenced by the methods of other artists â€Ś I paint to please myself."1 When Chicago art critic C. J. Bulliet wrote that no woman had ever painted a first-rate nude, Macena responded by painting a series of nude portraits. Her nude Salome, a bold, inventive, in fact "highly disturbing" version of the seductress, was most striking to Bulliet.2 He admired the large painting so much that he admitted that his earlier claim was wrong, and he became a
champion of her workâ€”and her lover for the next twenty years. Recognizing Macena's determination to paint what she wanted, regardless of the art movements of the time, Bulliet wrote of her: "The 'moderns' sense her as an individualist, an egoist, going her unique way, untrammeled by the schools. The 'conservatives' recognize her technical equipment and note her contempt for the 'isms.'"3 In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Macena added colorful auras around the figures in her portraits, like the painting of Jimmy Vail shown here. With the auras, she may have been expressing what she saw as the sitter's true nature. She portrays Jimmy Vail, a Chicago painter, as a mid-1930s matinee idol who could sweep any woman off
her feet. An aura analyst of today would say that the yellow band suggests a dreamy quality, the red creativity, and the white selfconfidence or self-protection. Macena eliminated the auras from her paintings, when the art critics began to expect them. Of all things, she did not want to be labeled as a realist or modernist or conservative, and she enjoyed a considerable freedom, modifying her style as often as she wanted to, and joining and exhibiting with such conventional organizations as the Association of Chicago Painters and Sculptors and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the trend-setting Chicago Society of Artists and No-Jury Society.
Macena Barton Self Portrait, 1934 Oil on canvas, 41 1/2 in. x 31 1/2 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MacenaBarton.
Enella Benedict (Born 1858, Lake Forest, Illinois Died 1942, Richard, Virginia)
Enella Benedict Edith, circa 1895 Oil, 28 1/8 in. x 32 1/8 in. Courtesy of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
In the early years, the walls of HullHouse displayed work by resident artists and students, as well as reproductions of masterworks. When you look at the photographs taken then, you see the framed prints and paintings on the walls in the children's reading room, the cooking classroom, the hallway â€Ś everywhere. Art was uplifting and a source of joy, the leaders of Hull-House believed, and it "was also vital to the energy, the imagination, and the cooperation necessary to keep democracy alive."1 Founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in an immigrant neighborhood on Chicago's near west side, Hull-House became a thriving, blossoming center for experimentations in modernist art in the 1920s and '30s.2
Enella Benedict had a good deal to do with that. She lived at Hull-House, maintained her studio there, and, beginning in 1893, directed its studio arts programs for more than forty years. Although Enella's paintings were traditional, and later showed influence of the Impressionists she had met in Paris, she encouraged the young artists who worked in her studio and took her classes to find their own way of expressing themselves.3 She taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the morning, returning to HullHouse to teach and oversee studio activities in the afternoon. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, live models posed, and any artist in the city was welcome to work in the studio for 15 cents each session. Often, mem-
bers of the neighborhood posed. During the summer, Enella traveled, staying in her summer cottage in Massachusetts, painting impressionist village and seaside scenes. Hull-House art programs brought out the talents of neighborhood residents, offering the opportunity to simply come in to draw or paint, or to learn to make art their career. Young students were given a variety of creative experiences. For example, they were asked to "use their imaginations to paint the alley behind Hull-House as if it were clean. A civics lesson thus became part of the art lesson."4 Edith, whose portrait is shown here, lived in the neighborhood. Enella dressed and posed her as she might have done her own niece and painted her portrait in a soft
impressionist style.5 The painting won a prize in an Arche Club exhibition in Chicago in 1896. Occasionally, Enella described a city scene, as she has done here using pastels and washes to show expressionless working people on their way home at dusk.
Enella Benedict Street Scene, circa 1890s Pastel drawing Courtesy of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/EnellaBenedict.
Bernece Berkman (Born 1911, Chicago, Illinois Died 1979, New York, New York)
Bernece Berkman Untitled (Man in the City), 1943 Oil on canvas, 20 in. x 24 in. Lent by Bernard Friedman
The 1930s and 1940s were a perfect time for Bernece Berkman to be making art. She was a committed activist and used art as a tool to shape opinions. Through her imagery, she characterized the ills of urban Chicago during the Great Depression, drawing attention to the industrial workers and immigrant tenements she saw around her. Her 1939 painting Jews in Flight anticipates the effect Nazi Germany would have on Jewish Europeans. Her works were dynamic expressions, filled with the angular lines of the Cubist style, muscular forms, and strong color. In Chicago, she studied with master printmaker Todros Geller, known as the dean of Chicago's Jewish artists, and early Modernist painter Rudolph Weisenborn, and
she worked for the WPA Illinois Arts Project. In New York City, she trained with leading abstractionist and art activist Stuart Davis. She showed work at an exhibit of Jewish artists held at Chicago's Palmer House in 1934, with the Chicago Society of Artists, and at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the 1939 New York World's Fair. In 1936, Bernece joined the radical American Artists' Congress to protest fascism and other social injustices, and she worked with a printmaking group that distributed left-wing brochures "advocating that artists and writers crusade for social reform."1 The next year, she donated woodcut prints to help fund the new Jewish community of Biro-Bidjan in the Soviet Union.
In 1940, she invited two African American artists to join her at a reception for an exhibit at the Women Artists' Salon of Chicago. She was informed that her guests were not welcome at the event. She responded by withdrawing her art from the exhibit. Although Bernece's subjects continued to reflect her social and political concerns, her style changed over time. In her early work, like the painting shown here, she combined Cubism with Expressionism and Fauvism. Over time, her compositions became increasingly complex and abstract, yet were still enlivened with color. Bernece was one of the important first-generation female abstractionists in the country, art historian Susan Weininger reminds us.2
Berence Berkman Toward a Newer Live, 1937 From the portfolio A Gift to biro-Bidjan Woodcut, 9 7/8 in x 7 7/8 in. Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/BerneceBerkman.
For more information about Biro-Bidjan and
the artists' gifts, see the Oakton Community College Museum website.
Jane Smith Bernhardt
Jane Smith Bernhardt Hiromu Morishita, 2003 Ink on board, 24 in. x 19 1/2 in. Lent by Jane Smith Bernhardt
Jane Smith Bernhardt is a member of the Anita Burnham family. Her grandmother Anita was a painter as was her mother Ann Burnham Smith and her aunt Carol-Lou
Burnham. Jane is a portrait artist. She is also a trained actress and a writer who has created and performed five dramatic pieces, including a re-enactment of the life of suffragist Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Through her paintings and her original solo performances, Jane "uses creativity as a vehicle for human transformation."1 In 2003, Jane founded the Hibakusha Peace Project, a multimedia tribute to the survivors of Hiroshima. Traveling to Japan, she painted portraits and recorded the stories of atom bomb survivors. "When I visited Hiroshima City," she says, "I was struck by one powerful impression: here is the first city ever decimated by an atomic bomb, and
everywhere there are symbols of peace and internationalism."2 Her painting shown here is an example of the work she prepared for the project. It is a portrait of survivor Hiromu Morishita, a calligrapher, teacher, and poet in Hiroshima. As Massachusetts gallery owner Nancy Philo Oleson points out, Jane is "very good at capturing something of the spark of a person, at finding the spirit and soul of the person."3 Oleson's gallery was one of several that hosted the Hibakusha Project. Janeâ€™s recent book, WE ARE HERE: Love Never Dies, chronicles an extraordinary period of three family deaths and many miracles of joy and forgiveness. Learn more about her work at her website: http://www.janebernhardt.com.
Kathleen Blackshear (Born 1897, Navasota, Texas Died 1988, Navasota, Texas)
Kathleen Blackshear Black Woman with Barbed Wire, 1939 Oil, 18 1/4 in. x 20 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Most summers, Kathleen Blackshear and her companion, artist Ethel Spears, left Chicago for Navasota, Texas, Kathleen's home town, to sketch and paint. Her subject
matter? African American life in Navasota. She made portraits mostly, some town scenes, still-lifes, and interior views, too. Her relative Jane Terrell remembers that when Blackshear was in Navasota, "she would go downtown, sit in her car and sketch people walking by." Terrell added, "She was just a brilliant person with a wonderful talent."1 Kathleen Blackshear developed what would be her lifelong interest in portraying African American Texas culture following a course she took with art historian Helen Gardner at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1925. Gardner wrote Art through the Ages, the influential art history textbook that introduced students to the legacy of art beyond Europe. The following year, Black-
shear was hired as an art history instructor at the school, assisting Gardner. Unconventional in their teaching methods, the two instructors took their students to the Field Museum of Natural History and the Oriental Institute on the University of Chicago campus to introduce them to nonWestern artwork. There students discovered African and Asian visual ideas that they could use in their own art making. Blackshear continued to expose her students to art forms, materials and processes from different cultures and historical periods long after Gardner's retirement. These experiences influenced the rise of unique Chicago art styles known as the Monster Roster and the Chicago Imagists.2
Blackshear retired in 1961, following thirty-five years of teaching, and moved to Navasota with Ethel Spears. Both artists continued to work and exhibit for the next decade.
Kathleen Blackshear Rhino, circa 1950 Chicago Society of Artists 1950 Block Print Calendar
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/KathleenBlack shear.
Harriet Blackstone (Born 1864, New Hartford, New York Died 1939, New York, New York)
Harriet Blackstone Man with a Cane/John E. Miller, circa 1910-1912 Oil on canvas, 37 1/2 in. x 27 1/4 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago
Harriet Blackstone was thirty-eight years old when she gave up teaching elocution and drama in Galesburg, Illinois, to paint portraits full-time. She studied in New York, then Paris, returning to Chicago in the early 1900s. She prepared her paintings in a classical manner and received many commissions for portraits and scenes. She built a bungalow home and studio in Glencoe, a suburb north of the city, where on Sunday afternoons she entertained distinguished artists, writers, musicians, and art lovers at congenial studio teas.1 By 1917, Harriet had discovered Santa Fe, New Mexico, and like a number of Chicago artists, spent a month or two each year painting there. In 1918, the country was solidly engaged in World War I, and the army
asked artists of Taos and Santa Fe for help. Harriet answered the call. What the army needed were rangefinder paintingsâ€”large works depicting French and Belgian scenes. The paintings were to be used for indoor rifle practice to develop proficiency in estimating distances and range finding. New recruits learned to adjust the range finder on their rifles to direct a shot accurately. It was a unique request in military history, and it was no small gift from the artists. The paintings were large, four by six feet, and worth one hundred thousand Liberty Bonds, the equivalent of thousands of dollars.2 Harriet painted scenes of Bruges, Belgium, a city she knew well, having taken a painting class there
with American Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase. By 1920, Harriet turned her attention to creating visionary figures. She moved to New York City, believing, no doubt, that her interest in mysticism and her new subject matter would be better served there. She brought her mother with her. Harriet kept a handwritten record of her activities. Brief notes, phrases, really. For October, 1920 she recorded: "Painted on many things … Gave five studio teas … Made acquaintances of many artists … Put old soldier painting in National Gallery Washington, DC … Moved to Chelsea apartment May 1 … Was made member of New York
Art League â€Ś Completed commissions â€Ś Sold painting to Boston AWA."3 In New York she supported herself by painting portraits, and painted what she saw in her visions.
Harriet Blackstone Dutch Baby, 1923 Oil, 13 in. x 10 in. John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Collection, Vanderpoel Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/HarrietBlackstone.
Dora Bourscheidt (Born 1854, Roscoe, Illinois Died 1933, Peoria, Illinois)
Dora Bourscheidt Untitled (Spring Landscape), 1921 Oil on linen, 11 1/4 in. x 13 7/8 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/Anonymous Gift 1985.19.7
"You paint like a man." That's what art critics used to say about women artists. In fact, some still do. It was high praise in the early 20th century. Critics meant that a woman showed strength and control in her painting, that the work was dynamic. It was the style they were used to seeing in good work made by men. Dora Bourscheidt, a Peoria, Illinois, artist known for her delicate, airy oil paintings of apple blossom trees, like the one shown here, received a similar compliment in the late 1910s. Dora had prepared a painting of a winter street scene viewed from the window of her home and entered it for consideration in the Peoria Society of Allied Arts' Best of Illinois Oil Painters exhibit. It was the only work by a Peoria woman accepted
into the exhibit and was reported to have been "painted with such strong masterful handling" that the exhibition judges assumed it was painted by a man.1 Dora studied painting with Chicago artist Frank Peyraud when he spent a summer in Peoria teaching and working on commissioned murals for the public library. In the photograph, Dora is the woman in the back row wearing a straw hat. The classes were often held outdoors, which was perfect for Dora, who "loved nature, loved the beauty of country fields, the brilliant colors of autumn, and the beauty of winter snow."2 They were the source of her inspiration and the subjects of her paintings.3 At lunchtime, Dora took her turn, along with other art students, bringing lunch for the teacher.
In 1894, when the Peoria Art League was formed, Dora was an early supporter and member. She organized the West Bluff 19th Century Club and was its first president in 1898, and in 1923, she joined the Peoria Art Instituteâ€™s board of directors. All the while, she raised her children and pursued her artwork, never loosing her agile touch.
Mr. Peyraud and art class at Shady Beach, Peoria, 1898 Peoria Public Library Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/DoraBourscheidt.
Theodosia Park Breed (Born 1896, Detroit, Michigan Died 1985, Freeport, Illinois)
Theodosia Breed Millicent, circa 1915 Oil on canvas, 38 in. x 30 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus
Theodosia and her husband Donald converted the space above the garage of the
family's Freeport, Illinois, home into a studio and had a bridge built over the driveway to link the studio to the house. Here her sitters would come to have their portraits painted. "She would often entertain them with accounts of her western trip in a Model T in 1917," recalls her daughter Sylvia. Or she would call Sylvia to the studio to read aloud to a sitter. "She felt that their faces would be more animated if they had some form of entertainment."1 Born in Detroit, Theodosia lived in Germany, Massachusetts, and Chicago, finally moving to Freeport after she married. She first studied at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York, where she painted in the
mornings and afternoons, and danced (another passion of hers) during her lunch hour. As she raised her children in Freeport, where Donald was publisher of the newspaper, she continued painting, receiving portrait commissions from local residents. Sylvia remembers that she usually had a portrait in progress in her studio. In 1932, she visited her parents, living at the time in Hawaii. She had been commissioned by the University of Chicago to paint a portrait of her father, Robert Ezra Park, a noted sociologist. Today, the painting is part of the university's art collection. Many of her portraits still hang in homes in northern Illinois, visual memories passed from generation to generation. Her family keeps many of her paintings and travel
sketches in their homes. Sylvia, an artist herself, says, "When I look at some of her work I can see true elegance."2
Theodosia Breed Self-Portrait, n.d. Oil Breed Family Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/TheodosiaBreed.
Clara Brian (Born 1875, Lawrence County, Illinois Died, 1970, Bloomington, Illinois)
Clara Brian Unit Meeting on Chickens, circa 1918 (women gathered to show off their prize layers) Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History
Clara Brian "These are why all the things we do are worthwhile." circa 1920 (chumming with their children) Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History
Kitchen Sink Too Low, circa 1920 (demonstrating the need to improve kitchens, in this case for the sake of the woman bent over the sink) Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History
Clara Brian's nephew Fred remembers her as bright, sensitive, perceptive, rather plain in appearance, energetic, focused, and quite like other women in his family who chose career over marriage.1 Clara began her work life by operating a millinery shop with her sister Cora in their hometown of San Jose, Illinois, in the early 1900s. Later, she published the San Jose Journal, a four-page weekly newspaper. In 1910, she told the census taker that she was a photographer. Her mother had died in 1899 when her youngest sister Bernice was nine years old. Clara took over the care of
her family, postponing college until 1913, the year Bernice was planning her wedding. When she was 41, Clara graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, with a degree in the new field of home economics, and moved to Kansas. She had been hired by Salina's Wesleyan University to develop and head the home economics department, which she did with success. She traveled to New York City during the summers to complete the masters program in nutrition and dietetics at Columbia University. In 1918, she returned to Bloomington to become the first Home Bureau adviser in Illinois. Her territory was McLean County, and her assignment was to bring new ideas about nutrition and child rearing, health, hy-
giene, education, and self-improvement to rural women. She did so by driving into the county to hold monthly unit meetings where she would demonstrate methods for, say, using new flours in bread making; and then she would tell her audience about the latest laundry equipment, advise them to fold some clothes directly from the line, advocate for running water in every home, including fruit and vegetables in their daily diets, and setting aside time for reading. 2 Wherever she went, Clara took her folding camera. It produced 3" x 4" negatives from which she made lantern slides to show at later meetings. Her photographs may appear candid, but according to Rhondal McKinney, photographer and professor emeritus at Illinois State University, "It is
always clear that this photographer is seeing her subjects in a broader context. â€Ś She is involved in a sort of inquiry as well as a simple recording of fact. In fine documentary photography these matters are paramount."3 Her photographs are striking. Some are like paintings. All require lingering over. Clara would not claim to be an artist. Yet, as McKinney points out, "What she brought to her photography was feeling, intelligence, and an intuitive picture making aesthetic. She knew what every fine documentary artist comes to learn: proceed intuitively, follow blunt purpose."4 Clara's original prints are stored with her Home Bureau reports at the University of Illinois. In 1990, Rhondal McKinney
made enlarged prints from Clara's negatives. It is his prints that are shown here. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/ClaraBrian.
Fritzi Brod (Born 1900, Prague, Bohemia Died 1952, Chicago, Illinois)
Fritzi Brod Katia, 1935 Oil on fiberboard, 34 in. x 27 1/2 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago
Look at the design in Katia's shawl. Hardly any works (prints or paintings) Fritzi Brod produced were without a pattern in the background, on a blouse or a tablecloth, or wrapped around the subject (usually a woman). Fritzi trained as a designer in Prague, Bohemia, and was accomplished in her field of textile design by the time she arrived in Chicago in 1924 to marry naturalized American Oswald Brod, who had been courting her in Europe for the previous two years. It didn't take long for Fritzi to become known in Chicago modernist art circles. She was appreciated for her individualistic style, which led C. J. Bulliet, Chicago Daily News art critic, to praise the "`explo-
sive, exuberant, and mad energy'" in her work.1 She exhibited widely, showing work in nine Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts exhibits, the Art Institute of Chicago annuals, the Los Angeles Museum of Art and others. She also wrote and illustrated books including 200 Motifs and Designs and Flowers in Nature and Design based on her textile designs. Katia, shown here, was painted in 1935 on fiberboard and is an example of the artist's modernist style. The flattening of shapes and distortion of the figureâ€” especially Katia's exaggerated left armâ€”as well as the strong colors and references to her ethnic roots demonstrate Fritzi's expressionist approach.
About the work of Fritzi Brod and other Chicago women modernists, art historian Susan Weininger writes, "Because these women were way out here in the Midwest, because they were already marginalized because of their gender, they were seeing the world differently,â€Ś and they didn't have to meet the expectations of the art capital [New York], they were able to find their own way of speaking."2
Fritzi Brod Peasant Woman at Prayer, ca. 1937 Oil, 24 in. x 20 in. John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Collection, Vanderpoel Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/FritziBrod.
Almira Sarah Burnham (Born 1840, Kendall County, Illinois Died 1932, Bloomington, Ilinois)
Almira Burnham Pink and White Roses, circa 1905 Oil, 29 1/2 in. x 41 in. Courtesy McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington, Illinois
Almira Burnham was what they called a society lady, able to devote her time to civic
and cultural interests, especially painting, which she attended to as her husband did to his career. She had an art studio on the upper floor of her home, where she worked daily. In the summer, she and her husband travelled, usually east to Essex, Massachusetts, near Boston, his family home, and once or twice to Paris, France. She sketched and painted on their travels, returning to her studio in Bloomington in the winter to perfect summer work and to make new paintings of winter landscapes and still-lifes. Almira exhibited her paintings at the Bloomington Art Association, which she helped found in 1888, and the city's YMCA. She displayed her work at Illinois State Fairs, providing access to a larger audience. She had showings at her studio as well,
where in 1896 she had hung paintings "on every wall from floor to ceiling."1 Following the State Fair in Peoria in the early fall of 1892, Almira shipped the six paintings she had displayedâ€”which, by the way, had received praise from the judgesâ€” by train from Pekin to Bloomington. On the trip, the train caught fire, and all of her paintings, valued at $1500, were destroyed. As if that weren't enough, the following week, Almira's home caught fire. When the large crowd of bystanders realized that the house would be ruined, they "quickly removed the contents of the home, including Almira's paintings."2 Almira continued to paint, interested in perfecting her technique. It was said that she was a painter of fine ability. Her floral still-
lifesâ€”especially roses in full bloom placed against a dark backgroundâ€”were her most admired works. She had a distinctive way of putting dewdrops on the petals, something she studied while in Paris. In those days, art was meant to be beautiful. Her paintings hung in many late Victorian homes in Bloomington and other towns in Illinois. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AlmiraBurnham.
Anita Willets Burnham (Born 1880, Brooklyn, New York Died 1958, Wilmette, Illinois)
Anita Willets Burnham CafĂŠ Tabac, 1923 Ink on paper, 19 1/2 in. x 24 1/4 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society
Anita Willets Burnham The Deep South Mississippi, circa 1935 Ink on paper, 20 in. x 24 1/4 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society
At the turn of the 20th century, more women attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago than men. Anita Willets was one of them. She had toured the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, noted the number of paintings shown by professional American
women artists, and decided to become a painter. She mastered academic techniques at the School of the Art Institute and went on to study impressionism with William Merritt Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts. In 1903, her work was selected for the annual juried Chicago and Vicinity Artists exhibition at the Art Institute, the first of many museum showings of her paintings and drawings, for which she often received rewards. Several years later, she met Alfred Burnham. He "popped the question," as she put it. "I had to decide whether to continue my art career or marry him. He startled me by saying 'Why can't you have a baby and paint one, too.'"1 Of course she could. They
were married at her parents' home in Chicago on April 19, 1906. By the time the Burnham's took their first trip to Europe in 1921, they were a family of six living in a circa-1837 log house in Winnetka on Chicago's North Shore. Anita had spotted the house while on a painting trip one afternoon, purchased it in 1917, relocated it to a wooded lot more to her liking, restored it, and added several rooms, including a studio. Since then, a member of her family has lived there continuously until 2001. In their home, the Burnhams raised their children, gave art classes, and made "Arts and Crafts style furniture, children's toys and hand-crafted picture frames."2
Anita persuaded Alfred to leave his job for the year-long family trip to Europe. It was to be an educational adventure for the family, touring and sketching and painting every day. As Anita later wrote, "A sketch a day makes travel pay."3 Having little money, they stayed in third-class accommodations and learned to barter and trade paintings for food, new shoes, and other necessities. They traveled throughout Europe, settling for longer time periods in France, then Spain and the Mediterranean island of Deya. Anita and her daughter Carol-Lou studied in Paris with the well-known American, Cecelia Beaux. From 1928 through 1930, the family traveled extensively in the Far East, sketching every day, trading their drawings as they
had in Europe for essentials. Anita taught a painting class in Siam and arranged for an audience with Mahatma Gandhi in India. They continued around the world until they reached the Continent, where they visited cities they had not seen on their earlier trip. Finally, they returned to America. Anitaâ€™s book about their travels, Round the World on a Penny, is a light-hearted tour guide for family travelers. The Burnham's artwork illustrates the book. Anita signed every book and wrote a short phrase above her signature. "Doing what can't be done is the Glory of Living" is an example. She lectured about her travels and showed her paintings at gatherings from the East Coast to the West.
She continued to teach art, especially to school children, because "she felt it was a privilege to be a teacher never knowing what effect she might have on another's life."4 And she had her paint box available at all times, no matter where she was. Paintings by Anita's daughters, CarolLou Burnham and Ann Burnham Smith, and her granddaughters Carol Dearborn and Jane Smith Bernhardt are shown in the exhibit.
Anita Willets Burnham Winnetka Historical Society Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AnitaBurnham.
Carol-Lou Burnham (Born 1908, Chicago, Illinois Died 1997, Winnetka, Illinois)
Carol-Lou Burnham Stalled, 1938 Watercolor on paper, 23 1/2 in. x 29 1/2 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society
"Carol-Lou was born with a paintbrush in her hand, instead of a silver spoon in her
mouth,"1 her mother, Anita Burnham, was fond of saying. With no trouble at all, CarolLou learned to drawâ€”art-making was serious business in the Burnham household. While in Europe on a year-long family trip in 1921, she learned to do quick artistic studies and produced sketches that were included in Round the World on a Penny, the book her mother wrote in 1930.2 Her travel sketches were popular in Chicago and on the North Shore, and were shown in many of the annual juried exhibits at the Art Institute from 1925 through 1938. Chicago Daily Tribune art critic commented that her watercolors were "sparkling" and that she was "rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most talented and best prepared of our younger painters."3
In Paris in 1921, she took life classes daily from 2 pm to 7 pm, and at 13, she was the youngest member of the group. The Paris Salon accepted one of her class sketches the following spring. She experimented with different styles, including cubism and abstract expressionism. On a later trip, she studied fresco painting at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France. She continued to train at the Art Institute of Chicago, and she received a master of fine arts degree in 1946. During this time, she taught art in schools in Winnetka, then in California, and finally at the Layton School of Art and Design in Milwaukee, where her classes were televised on NBC on Saturday mornings. After her mother died in the late 1950s,
Carol-Lou returned to Winnetka to live in the family's log house, where she enjoyed giving tours to visitors.
Carol-Lou Burnham Fruit Sellers, circa 1921 A. W. Burnham, Round the World on a Penny4
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/CarolBurnham.
Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs (Born 1917, St. Rose, Louisiana Died 2010, Chicago, Illinois)
Margaret Goss Burroughs Girl with Doll at "Nogales" 1965 Ink on paper Lent by Dan Parker
In February 2010, a young woman named Shorty, who administers a website for Chicago South Siders, attended the opening of the Margaret T. Burroughs Gallery in the South Shore Cultural Center. Dr. Burroughs cut the ribbon alongside Mayor Richard M. Daley. Shorty is fond of Dr. Burroughs and counts her as her favorite role model ("next to my mother, of course," she says). Shorty writes that at ninety-two years old, Dr. Burroughs still "teaches art classes at the prison, goes bowling, and roller skates. Yes, roller skates!"1 Shorty is one of many admirers, and this ceremony was certainly not the first such celebration Margaret Burroughs had attended. There was the opening of the
DuSable Museum of African American History in 1973. Margaret Burroughs and her husband had started the museum in 1959, displaying the collection of artwork and artifacts in the living room of their South Michigan Avenue home. Still, Dr. Burroughs' experience as an arts organizer and community activist began long before then. Twenty years earlier, Burroughs had worked to establish the South Side Community Art Center to provide a place for artists to gather and exhibit their artwork, and for community members, especially talented young people, to take classes. At the center's opening, Burroughs' artistâ€™s statement was read. It said in part: "Five years ago, we had practically no place in our community
where we could exhibit our paintings and practically no audience. We had to lasso people, cowboy fashion, in order to get them to see our work. We used to meet from studio to studio, to draw and paint and talk about art and our problems as artists. "We believed that the purpose of art was to record the times. â€Ś As young black artists, we looked around and recorded in our various media what we saw. It was not from our imagination that we painted slums and ghettos, or sad, hollow-eyed black men, women and children. These were the people we saw around us. We were
part of them. They were us. Thus, the coming of this community art center has opened up new hope and vistas to all of us.2 Artist Burroughs was a skilled printmaker, painter, sculptor, teacher, and writer. In 1975, Gerald Ford presented the President's Humanitarian Award to her. Then in 1986, Chicago mayor Harold Washington named February 1st "Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day." Dr. Burroughs received honors galore according to Shortyâ€™s website. "You should see the wall!" she writes enthusiastically, referring to the posted notations about Dr. Burroughs' accomplishments and the accolades mounted at the South Shore Cultural Center.
Margaret Burroughs The faces of my People, ca. 1990s Linocut Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community College/Gift of Dr. Margaret Burroughs
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MargaretBurro ughs and her complete essay about the South Side Community Art Center is available in
John Franklin White's book Art in Action: American Art Centers and the New Deal and online at http://iwa.bradley.edu/essays.
Eleanor Coen (Born 1916, Normal, Illinois Died 2010, Berkeley, California)
Eleanor Coen Untitled (Boy with Swing), 1944 Ink on paper, 23 in. x 16 in. Courtesy of the Estate of Eleanor Coen and Corbett vs. Dempsey
Eleanor Coen grew up in Normal, Max Kahn in Peoria. Eleanor studied at Illinois State University, Max graduated from Bradley University. They met in Peoria and went ice-skating together that evening. Max fell through the ice and his pant leg froze stiff. "It doesn't bother me," he shrugged when Eleanor asked. Much later, he told his son Noah, "It was love at first sight."1 Eleanor moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute, where Max taught lithography. Working for the WPA's Illinois Arts Project, they shared a studio with Isadore Wiener and Misch Kohn on the city's South Side. There, they helped form a contemporary color lithography tradition in Chicago and at the Art Institute school, which until then had worked only in black and white
lithography. Eleanor's early work was displayed at the annual exhibit of the Art Students League of Chicago, an organization she led as president in 1940. In 1941, Eleanor graduated from the Art Institute and became the first woman to win the school's James Nelson Raymond Fellowship, a travel award to study anywhere in the world. She chose to work in Mexico at the Taller de Grafica Popular (People's Graphic Arts Workshop) and with social realism muralist JosĂŠ Clement Orozco, whose style emboldened her during a time when she was searching for her own figurative expression. Max went with Eleanor to Mexico, created woodblock prints, and appreciated the socio-political artist groups they associated with. Eleanor painted a fresco mural of
women and children washing clothes at the river that can be seen today at the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende. Eleanor and Max were married in 1942. They lived in a studio loft over a grocery store in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. They were known as Max and Coney to family and friends. In the 1940s and 1950s, as gallery owner John Corbett put it, "They were hot tickets, winning prizes left and right and breaking barriers that separated various media in visual arts窶馬otably painting and printmaking and color and blackand-white lithography."2 During the summer, they taught at the esteemed Oxbow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan.
In 1946, Eleanor had a solo print show at the Art Institute. Critic Frank Holland wrote, "One of the youngest and best known as well as one of the hardest working of our local artists, Miss Coen's efforts have been meeting with a great deal of success."3 Eleanor "began to evolve her own way of laying color upon color in creating her lithographs that was similar to the way she worked her canvases."4 In the early 1950s, she showed her color lithographs in a solo exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Katie and Noah Kahn, born in 1949 and 1951, were Eleanor's continuing inspiration, and undoubtedly she and Max were theirs. The children became the focus of her art for many years. Her figurative style was estab-
lished with the expressive, energetic, roundfaced youngsters she placed in animated city scenes. Eleanor shows us what the children saw. She said once in describing a painting to a reporter, "I put a tree with birds in it in the foreground because that is what the children see, looking out the windowâ€”that is what nature isâ€”and beyond it the maze of city streets."5 That was in 1957, when she and Max were living in Chicagoâ€™s Old Town neighborhood, with a studio that accommodated both artists' paintings as well as space for their children to draw and paint. Max taught printmaking at the Art Institute and later the University of Chicago. Eleanor also taught at the Art Institute and continued to make paintings that sparkled
with jewel-like color, imagination, and energy. There wasn't a time in her art career when she and Max weren't together. The "dynamic duo" they were called. Max lived to103. Eleanor passed away in 2011 at 95. "A lifetime of working together reaped many harvests: art, family, individuality, collaboration, improvisation, resistance, magnetism. The work never stopped, and the story is still unfolding, now in its retelling."6
Eleanor Coen Village Market Scene, 1943 Oil on canvas Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences/ Given in memory of Franklin and Emma Barber, Flossmoor, IL 1976.3
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/EleanorCoen.
Maude Parmley Craig (Born 1881, Eddyville, Illinois Died 1953, unknown)
Maude Parmley Craig Miss Georgia Goes to Church, circa 1935 Tempera on paper From the Collection of the University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
No one quite knows why Maude Parmley Craig took to painting in her fifties,
but she did. She joined the art classes organized in 1935 by the Federal Art Project at Illinois Normal University in Carbondale (today's Southern Illinois University). As far as anyone can tell, this was the only formal art training Maude ever had, yet she was able to capture charming hometown scenes at a time when the communityâ€”the countryâ€”needed reminders of happier days. Maude is an example of the positive effect the WPA's art classes had on many new artists during the Depression. Her naĂŻve paintings attracted the attention of a researcher in the 1980s who discovered little more about her except that she made colorful quilts and woven rugs, had been married three times, and had moved to Creal Springs, not far from Carbondale, in the mid-1930s. Southern Illinois University considers her artwork treasures and main-
tains in their collection eight paintings and three quilt tops. In 1976, her paintings were displayed in an exhibition titled "Na誰ve Art in Illinois, 1830-1976," at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Thirty years later, it was shown again at the Southern Illinois University Museum. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MaudeCraig.
Cecil Clark Davis (Born 1877, Chicago, Illinois Died 1955, Marion, Massachusetts)
Cecil Clark Davis Mr. Eames MacVeagh, circa 1919 Oil on canvas, 40 in. x 34 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mr. Eames MacVeagh
When asked, Cecil Clark Davis would tell you that she taught herself to paint. She did take classes at the Art Institute of Chicago once she had turned her full attention to her art after divorcing her husband, journalist Richard Harding Davis, in 1912. She took private lessons with Massachusetts portraitist Ellen Emmett Rand during the summer months, which she often spent at her family's 23-room cottage in the seaside village of Marion. Additionally, she had befriended John Singer Sargent, whom she called upon for artistic direction.1 Her portraits were memorable, painted in a traditional Romantic style popular in the country at the turn of the century and beyond. Her subjects ranged from friends and servants to models and luminaries, such as
aviator Charles Lindbergh and inventor Alexander Graham Bellâ€”and included her thirty-five dogs. Once when she was young, she even sketched prisoners in the local jail and sold the drawings to the Chicago Tribune to make enough money to pay for a pony and carriage her father had refused to buy her. Despite the traditional style of her paintings, Cecil was a woman ahead of her time, thoroughly modern. Born in Chicago to a wealthy, socially prominent family, she excelled at sports and made light of convention. At dinner parties when the meal was over and the women withdrew to the parlor, Cecil stayed in the dining room and talked and smoked with the men.
She was sixteen in 1893 when she attended the speeches given by women's rights leaders in the Woman's Pavilion at the Chicago World Exposition. Throughout her life, she traveled the world freely, an independent, unconventional woman of the arts, devoting her life to her painting career. Richard Davis, smitten with this tall, athletic beauty, idealized her as the "New Woman" in his novels. In 1899, he sent a cable from London proposing marriage. She accepted, and he promptly sent a messenger to her home in Chicago with an engagement ring. She stipulated that the marriage be platonic, to which he agreed. This arrangement worked successfully for ten years. They lived in Chicago and for a year in London. They bought a house in Mt. Kisco,
a suburb of New York City, which remained Richard's home until his death. Cecil maintained studios in Chicago, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Marion most of her life. She painted more than 500 portraits, exhibited them throughout the country, and won prizes for her work. She was praised by critics, including the Chicago Daily Tribune's Eleanor Jewett, who said of a 1930 exhibition at the Chicago Arts Club, "She has possessed an increasing reputation as a painter of portraits. She is a brilliant colorist, and her portraits are excellent studies in character."2 On November 6, 1911, Cecil made a note in her diary about the painting below, "Started to paint myself with something of
Frans Hals and something of Rembrandt in it."3
Cecil Clark Davis Self Portrait, 1911 Oil Collection of the Marion Art Center, Marion, Massachusetts
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/CecilDavis.
Carol Dearborn Loki's Shell, 2001 Pastel on paper, 25 1/2 in. x 19 in. Lent by Carol Dearborn
Carol Dearborn's landscapes in oil, pastel, and mixed mediums explore the mystery and spirituality of the natural world. She spent her childhood immersed in art and nature in the care of the women artists in her family: her grandmother Anita Burnham, her mother Ann Burnham Smith, and her aunt Carol-Lou Burnham. Today, when she is not in her studio in Salem, Massachusetts, she travels to paint and sketch in places of natural beauty and spirituality, like such as the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the coast of British Columbia, Tibet and the Himalayas, and the Peruvian Andes. "My paintings of trees, water, mountains and sky are visual conversations with what I think of as the spirit of the place,"
Carol says.1 Using natural and imagined forms, she aims to articulate the essential energetic forces animating and connecting all life. Her paintings have been described as "pulsating on the boundaries between the material and the spiritual."2 An activist for environmental sustainability, Carol also teaches Creativity and Shamanism, inviting students to open pathways to creation in all aspects of life. Her current exhibit and speaking tour, Where Heaven Meets Earth, explores the relationship of humans to the divine in natural places of great power that have inspired devotion for thousands of years. She continues to learn from "the wisdom of indigenous peoples who revere and live in balance with Earth."3
Learn more about Carol Dearborn and her work at her website http://www.caroldearborn.com.
Pauline A. Dohn (Born 1866, Chicago, Illinois Died 1934, Los Angeles, California)
Pauline Dohn Pear Time, circa 1895 Oil on canvas, 29 3/8 in. x 21 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection
Pauline Dohn A Village Belle, 1899 Oil on canvas, 29 in. x 20 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection
By the time she married Franklin Rudolph in 1901, Pauline Dohn was an accomplished painter recognized by critics and juries for her fine realistic canvases. She was
an arts organizer, one of the founders of the Bohemian Club (renamed the Palette Club) in 1880 and its president in 1892-93, during the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, where she also exhibited two of her oil paintings. She was an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ending her teaching career in 1902. Pauline, known as Lena, began her art training soon after graduating from high school at age 15. She entered the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (later the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) graduating in 1882, enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1883 to study with realist painter Thomas Eakins, and left for Paris two years later. She trained at the Academie Julian and at one point roomed with Alice
Kellogg and several other Chicago women artists. She traveled in northern Europe and exhibited a drawing she made while in Holland at the Paris Salon for which she was awarded honorable mention. Pear Time was painted in Holland as well. Returning to Chicago in the late 1880s, Pauline began to exhibit in the Palette Club's annual member-only shows at the Art Institute, the Works by Chicago Artists annuals also held at the museum, and later with the Society of Western Artists, an artist-led Midwestern organization formed in 1896 to circulate exhibits among member cities. She received positive reviews of her work, and by 1892, had won the prestigious Yerkes prize at the Chicago Society of Artists exhibit.
Pauline was recognized as one of the best known of the women artists of the West in 1901 when she married her longtime friend businessman Franklin Rudolph. Yet in 1902, she resigned her teaching position at the Art Institute and significantly reduced her art activities. In 1906, she participated in the Circulating Art Gallery program organized by the General Federation of Women's Clubs, in which 80 paintings and etchings were sent to women's clubs in small cities and towns around the country to give the local women an opportunity to view and appreciate the best original artwork. There are no records indicating that she exhibited after 1906. The next year she moved to Winnetka, a suburb on the city's North Shore, tended to
her three children, and supported community organizations, including supervising the Winnetka extension of the Saturday Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago, held in the basement of the Winnetka Woman's Club. Her husband died of pneumonia in 1922. Pauline stayed in her Winnetka home until an illness caused her to move to a milder climate. She chose California, where she died in 1934. Pauline was well-known for the kindness and consideration she showed friends and family. As a Winnetka friend put it, Lena "knew how to bring out the best in others."1 To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/PaulineDohn.
Cornelia Strong Fassett (Born 1831, Owasco, New York Died 1898, Washington, DC)
Cornelia Strong Fassett Portrait of William Butler Ogden, c. 1870 Oil on glass, 6 in. x 6 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mrs. Donald F. McPherson
Cornelia and Samuel Fassett were wholly committed to their art, Sam to producing fine daguerreotypes and Cornelia at first to hand-coloring her husband's photographs and later to painting portraits. Sam opened a
shop on Chicagoâ€™s Wabash Avenue in about 1851, soon after they arrived from Ohio. He called it the Fine Arts Gallery and, because the city had no exhibit spaces at that time, nor for many years following, he and later Cornelia displayed their works in the window. 1 Cornelia touched up and tinted photographs and began to paint miniature portraits on ivory, which led her to New York City in 1852 to study watercolor and on to Paris and Rome for training in oil painting. When she returned to Chicago in 1855, her mastery of portrait painting in several mediums, depending on the size requested, brought her commissions. Over the next two decades, her sitters included many of the most prominent men in the city and the state, as well as
the young nephew of Chicago's first mayor, William Butler Ogden, which is shown here. Her reputation as "Chicago's first professional woman artist of significance" grew.2 The first recorded exhibit that she entered was arranged by the Ladies' Northwestern Fair to benefit sick and wounded Civil War soldiers in 1863. She donated a painting. Then in 1868, Cornelia submitted five paintings for an exhibit organized by the Chicago Academy of Design, of which she was a member. The Academy, founded two years earlier by 35 artists, was modeled after the European art academies to provide free art classes and exhibit space. In 1866, she and her husband, a maid, and three of what would be their eight children, travelled to Europe to paint. Both used
the time for study and practice, although Cornelia did have her fourth child, a daughter named Adele, while in Paris. They returned to America shortly thereafter. The great Chicago fire of 1871 and the fire of 1873 destroyed both Cornelia and Samuel's artworks and photographs. Yet in 1873, she was able to enter crayon drawings and a portrait of Mrs. A. E. Small in the second annual Chicago Inter-State Industrial Exhibition. Sam displayed his photographs, which were recognized as "superior."3 By 1875, the Fassetts had decided to leave Chicago. They moved to Washington, DC, where they were active in art circles. Cornelia secured commissions for portraits of three presidents and other notable figures, including Clara Barton.4 Cornelia had a stu-
dio next to her husband's and often hosted popular social events. In 1877, she began her most ambitious and best-known work, The Florida Case before the Electoral Commission of 1877, which hangs today in the Senate Wing of the U.S. Capitol. The historical painting shows more than 200 members of Congress, their wives, and members of the press. Cornelia showed paintings in Chicago several times following their move, including the Chicago World's Exposition in 1893. But six years later, at the age of 66, as she hurried from a party to a reception with her daughter Violet, Cornelia suffered a fatal heart attack.5
Cornelia Adele Strong Fassett The Florida Case before the Electoral Commission, 1879 Oil on canvas, 60 in x 75 in. Signature (lower right corner): C. Adele Fassett/1879 U.S. Senate Collection. Cat. No. 33.00006
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/CorneliaFassett.
Agnes Howell Ferguson (Born 1895, Dixon, Illinois Died 1985, Franklin Grove, Illinois)
Agnes Howell Ferguson Portrait of John Nolf, 1933 Oil, acrylic, watercolor, 22 in. x 25 in. Lent by Loveland Community House and Museum
Agnes Howell Ferguson and her husband Ralph lived in a cabin that they had
built in Grand Detour, a small community south of Oregon, Illinois, where the Rock River bends like an oxbow, turning abruptly north and west in its journey from Dodge County, Wisconsin, to the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois. Further down the river is the town of Dixon and about 100 miles directly east is Chicago. To escape the city, refresh their eye, and enjoy the quiet of the countryside, city artists formed colonies in the valley of the Rock River in the first half of the twentieth century. Sculptor Lorado Taft started the Eagle's Nest colony on the Rock River near Oregon. John Nolf, a Chicago regionalist painter known as the Mayor of Grand Detour, was among the first to move permanently to the river town. He used to say, "If
you can't paint in the Rock River Valley, you can't paint anywhere."1 Agnes Howell grew up in Dixon, studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts after high school graduation in 1912, and later took art lessons from John Nolf. She painted the river views with the artists summering in Grand Detour, where she met Oscar Soellner, who described her as "a true fellow-artist â€Ś of trait and spirit."2 It must have been an easy decision for Ralph Ferguson, also from Dixon, and his new bride Agnes to build their home in the artist colony developing in Grand Detour. They called their house Dune on the Rock. Agnes hand-painted flowers and vines on the walls of their home and a large-scale town map on the patio floor.
She participated in area art shows and in gallery exhibits around the state. Her work was selected for two of the Art Institute of Chicago's annual exhibitions in the 1930s. Combining Expressionism, Impressionism and a "delicate mysticism," she created her own painting style.3 Her portraits, landscape, and abstracts garnered praise for their expressive qualities. Art critic John A. Lindhorst remarked that "all her work seems to come to life."4 In 1984 Agnes, then 89 years old, entered her final art exhibit: the Grand Detour Annual Art Festival. She tried never to miss the Grand Detour festival nor the Phidian Art Club's annual exhibit in Dixon. Both had been organized in the late 1940s with her help. In 2009, the Club established the Ag-
nes Ferguson Memorial Peoples' Choice Award in her honor. The exhibit is still held in the Loveland Community Center in Dixon. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AgnesFerguson.
Ruth Van Sickle Ford (Born 1897, Aurora, Illinois Died 1989, Aurora, Illinois)
Ruth Van Sickle Ford The Little Traveler, circa 1930s Oil, 37 in. x 39 in. Lent by Aurora Public Library
You have to want to make art your career, Ruth Van Sickle Ford advised students. It's not talent that spurs you on; it's desire. "Desire makes you want to study and learn all you can," she said.1 And learning to make art isn't easy. Ruth was a painter first, mostly watercolors. She was also a strict teacher, her criticism direct and often sarcastic.2 She was determined that her students learn the basics of art-making. Then they could experiment. "I don't think you can do well in anything," Ruth said, "unless you learn all about it. If you do anything that is creative, you have to spend a good many years learning your trade. [You have to] learn something about everything there is to draw. For instance, I went to medical school two after-
noons a week for six months because I couldnâ€™t draw an anatomy. I pulled bodies apart so I could."3 In 1937, in the middle of the Great Depression, Ruth bought the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, an important progressive school that featured training in commercial art. An astute manager, she kept costs low, making classes available to those who truly wanted to learn to make art. Under her leadership, the Academy prospered. It prepared its graduates to take a business-like approach to their art-making career. In 1950, she and her husband Sam moved into a new, unusual home they had helped to design and build. It attracted a good deal of attention in the small city of Aurora. It was modeled after a Tibetan no-
mad tent and quickly earned the names Round House and Mushroom House. Curiosity-seekers drove slowly by and even came up to peek in the windows. At one time, a policeman was stationed nearby to keep weekend crowds away. Early on, the Fords put a sign in the front yard that read, "We don't like your house either."4 Ruth led the Chicago Academy for twenty-three years. She took the commuter train into Chicago from Aurora each day, leaving at 6:00 a.m. and returning in late evening. On Saturdays, she returned to the city to paint in her studio in the Tree Studios building off Michigan Avenue. She painted portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and street scenes in a representational manner. The composition of her scenes was
often unexpected, like a birds-eye view of Aurora and the interior window view of Geneva's The Little Traveler gift shop from the tearoom onto the courtyard, shown here. Her use of color brightened over time. Her work was well received, widely displayed, and frequently received awards. In 1954 she became the first woman member from Illinois of the American Watercolor Society, and six years later, the first woman artist member of Chicago's Palette & Chisel Academy. When she was 89 years old, Aurora University hosted a retrospective of her work. A longtime student remarked that her watercolor paintings were "very bold, definite, quite unlike a lady's painting."5
That was Ruth's style. She said once, "If a woman has the desire to do something, she should do it."6 And Ruth certainly did.
Ruth Van Sickle Ford Barbara, ca. 1930s Oil McCuiston Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/RuthFord.
Frances Foy (Born 1890, Chicago, Illinois Died 1963, Chicago, Illinois)
Frances Foy Portrait of Frances Strain, 1932 Oil on board, 31 1/2 in. x 35 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection
Frances Foy was a quiet, unassuming woman who went about her art-making
business without much fanfare, creating oil and watercolor paintings, murals, and later etchings of Chicago city scenes and people. She learned to paint in evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago School while supporting herself as a fashion illustrator. She studied portrait, landscape, and still life painting, maintaining a traditional representational style until she began to work with visiting instructor George Bellows, an urban realist painter from New York City. She began experimenting with modernist approaches, working in bright, light colors yet with a sensitive brush, bringing out exquisite details of her subjects. With her husband, painter Gustaf Dalstrom, whom she had met in Bellows' class and married in 1923, Frances joined
the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, considered a radical group at the time because they accepted work from any artist who paid the membership fee. There were no juries selecting work to be shown, no prizes given, and the artwork was hung in alphabetical order. In 1927, the Chicago Woman's Aid organization gave her a solo show which, as critic C. J. Bulliet wrote, "established her as an artist to be reckoned with."1 The following year, the Romany Club invited her to exhibit. She continued to show work at the Art Institute annuals, where she won awards, and exhibited at Increase Robinson's gallery and the Marshall Field Gallery with The Ten, a group of artists with modernist ideas that they applied in moderation.2
During the Depression, Gustaf worked for the Work Progress Administration's Fine Arts Project, providing a dependable monthly income. The FAP's married persons clause restricted couples from employment in the project, so Frances competed for mural assignments from the Treasury Department's art program, which commissioned artists to decorate newly constructed federal buildings. She was awarded five murals. Remarkably, in several of the murals she celebrated women, presenting them as the central or only figures shown. Most murals of the period depicted men, with women in secondary roles.3 Frances Foy and Gustaf Dalstrom were considered leaders in the progressive ranks of Chicago artists. Their studio was in the
attic of their home on Dayton Avenue. It had white walls and was lighted with fluorescent lamps, a reporter observed. "We work all the time," the couple told her. "Day and night."4 In 1931, their son Lars Michael was born. For the next two decades, Frances fit her painting assignments around his needs. For Frances, subject matter was everything. â€œIt is the magic key," she wrote in her manifesto in 1933, "which unbolts the imagination. It also gives direction and character to the way a picture is painted."5 She found her subjects while wandering around Chicago and looking deeply at people as they went about their lives. "She had the artist's knack of being able to use the stuff of real life as the basis of a charming, formally beautiful work of art."6
About Frances Foy's painting of her good friend artist Frances Strain, whose work is also exhibited here, art historian Susan Weininger points out that in this painting, "Strain is presented more like a woman of leisure than the hardworking and independent artist and curator that she was. The image emphasizes Strain's passivity, as well as the stereotypical connection of women with nature, particularly beautiful flowers such as those on the tablecloth â€Ś and reflects the widespread movement to a return to traditional gender roles during the Great Depression."7
Frances Foy Evening Stroll, 1925 Oil on canvasboard, 35 3/8 in. x 39 1/4 in. Collection of Clifford Law Offices, Ken Oakes Photography
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/FrancesFoy.
Rowena Fry (Born 1892, Athens, Georgia Died 1990, Nashville, Tennessee)
Rowena Fry Great Lakes Art Class, circa 1941-45 Oil on canvas, 24 in. x 30 in. Lent by Clifford Law Offices, Ken Oakes Photography
When asked to write an artist's statement, Rowena Fry said, among other things, "I believe that any work of art worth its salt, must give the viewer some kind of uplift."1 She succeeded in preparing work of her own that did. She created engaging reportorial pieces, documenting Chicago and its Near North Side neighborhoods; fanciful woodblock prints of colorful shoes; a view of the city's Water Tower in winter; a cat and its dreams; and a philosophical pigeon. As a newspaper reporter put it, her works were "spiritually rewarding â€Ś small in dimension, quiet, serenely harmonious in color, completely original in theme."2 For Rowena, drawing was as natural as breathing.3 She was born in Athens, Illinois, grew up in Alabama, and studied art at the
Watkins Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, before moving to Chicago in the late 1920s. There she attended Hubert Ropp's School of Art on East Ohio Street and later the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the years, her exhibitions included several one-woman shows in Chicago, and numerous group shows. She worked for the Works Progress Administration Fine Arts Project from 1938 to 1939, creating a mural for the city of Lake Forest, Illinois, and paintings for several businesses, including the Oscar Meyer Company. She taught painting and serigraphy in her studio, and during World War II, she worked in the Arts and Skills Program at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital in North Chicago, teaching art to sailors.4 She record-
ed her experience with the painting shown here. She said, "My hope is that something I paint will live long after I have gone."5 Indeed, her prints and paintings are enjoyed by many collectors and museums today.
Rowena Fry Looking South from 218 E. Huron, 1930 Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 in. x 15 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/RowenaFry.
Maurine Montgomery Gibbs (Born 1906, Wyanet, Illinois Died 2003, Peoria, Illinois)
Maurine Montgomery Gibbs Dancer, 1936-1938 Bronze, 17 in. x 8 in. x 3 1/2 in. Lent by Ramona Gibbs
The Dancer, shown here, is one of a series of five figures that Maurine Montgomery created in Rome, Italy, in the mid-1930s. She was sent to Rome by her teacher, the internationally known sculptor Carl Milles, who suggested it would benefit her to draw the statuary and sculptures in the city's museums. After a year of drawing, she longed to create her own sculpture. She rented a studio in the Palazzo Espagna on the Via Margutta, home of 15th-century artists’ studios.1 "I wanted to see," she recalled, "what forms I could create in the old world—in the midst of Mussolini's Italy."2 The works were influenced by Maurine’s readings in Oriental philosophy as well as the interpretive dance style she had
studied. The male and female dancers "show the two sides of human nature," Maurine's daughter Ramona explains, "with the female figure in a less aggressive pose than that of the male."3 Maurine had the first two figures cast in bronze and a patina applied while she worked on the others, which she made in plaster. A few years later, she returned to the United States and married sculptor Harrison Gibbs, whom she had met in Rome. At that time, Maurine sent the two Dancers to an annual exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and then to an Art Institute of Chicago show. Maurine, who grew up in Peoria, Illinois, had studied with Carl Milles beginning in 1933. He taught at the Cranbrook Acade-
my near Detroit, Michigan, while she was teaching at Cranbrook's Brookside School for elementary students. Before she began working with Milles, he had insisted that she spend time getting "to know my bones," as she put it.4 Milles did not want his students to use models in sculpting. They needed to work clay or stone with an understanding of a figure's mechanics and how the bones influence the body's surface. So Maurine spent a summer at the Natural History Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, drawing bones. Cranbrook, known as a "cradle of American modernism," had instructors from around the world who taught and created their own works in an innovative environment. Finnish architects Eliel and Ero Saarinen and furniture designer Charles Eames
taught alongside Carl Milles. Maurine studied with Milles for several years before suggesting that she spend time in Rome. She returned for additional training in the summer of 1939, this time with her husband. They were on their honeymoon. In 1941, Maurine won a Federal Works Agencyâ€™s Section of Fine Arts commission for a public sculpture to be placed in the Homewood, Illinois, post office. Using 40 different chisels, she hand-carved a wood relief mural nearly five feet tall called The Letter. It depicts "a girl reading a letter while her lover looks on to see the reaction," as Maurine described the carving. "I used a simple incident from everyday life because Homewood is a small suburb of Chicago,
where the most important activity is family life."5 In 1944, the year her daughter Ramona was born, Maurine's husband Harrison was killed in France. He had enlisted in the army a year earlier. Maurine and her daughter returned to Peoria. Eventually she began her creative work again, continuing to sculpt figures and paint watercolor landscapes and still lifes. She taught in Peoria's schools, and she helped her daughter develop her artistic skills. Today, Ramona carries on the family's creative traditions, painting watercolors and teaching art.
Maurine Gibbs working on daughter's portrait in Rosemont, PA studio, 1947 Ramona Gibbs Collection.
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MaurineGibbs.
Marion Mahony Griffin (Born 1871, Chicago, Illinois Died 1962, Chicago, Illinois)
Walter Burley Griffin, architect; Marion Mahony Griffin, delineator Hurd Comstock House No. 1, Evanston, Illinois, 1911-1912 Pen and black ink over graphite on drafting linen
Sheet: 41 他 in. x 20 7/8 in.; image: 34 x 19 5/8 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Marion Mahony Griffin, 1985.1.96
Marion Mahony Griffin was a magnificent delineator, an architect and artist who knew how to translate concept and working drawings into presentation renderings better than most. She was the second woman to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the first to receive an architectural license in Illinois. She was hired by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1895 and worked with him for the next fourteen years. It was "Mahony's drawings that helped establish Frank Lloyd Wright as America's reigning architectural genius," noted critic Fred A. Bernstein in a New York Times article.1
What made Marion's work distinctive was the Japanese-influenced style she used in composing her renderingsâ€”and her use of plant materials. Trees, shrubs, and a variety of vegetation surrounded the buildings she drew, enhancing the structures, making them appear beautifully livable. Yet Marion has never received the recognition that she deservesâ€”until lately, when among other tributes, Northwestern University's Block Museum organized an exhibition of her work in 2005. In addition, her memoir The Magic of America, with its 700 illustrations, can now be read online. In 1911, Marion, then 40 years old, married Walter Burley Griffin. Walter, with his wife's encouragement and her drawings, entered the competition to design Australia's
capital city, Canberra. Her presentation renderings in ink on silk with gold leaf highlights encouraged the judges to decide in Griffin's favor.2 The Griffins moved to Australia in 1914 to oversee the development of Canberra. Marion worked on buildings in other cities as well and once went on a sketching trip to Tasmania that resulted in a series of forest portraits created on different colors of silk in a complex process of gel-lithography and applied colored inks and dyes.3 The Griffins remained in Australia and then India until Walter's death in 1937. Soon after, Marion returned to Chicago. She had focused her attention on her husband's career for 26 years, and following his death, she used her time to write her
memoirs. In the end, her splendid delineations and designs of buildings constructed on three continents represented her well.
Marion Mahony Griffin Eucalyptus Urnigera, Tasmania/Scarlet Bark, Sunset, Forest Portrait no. 11, December 1918
Pen and black ink with brush and colored inks and dyes on red silk; sheet: 45 x 22 他in.; image: 37 7/8in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Marion Mahony Griffin, 1985.1.117
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MarionGriffin.
Lillian E. Hall (Born 1905, Waukegan, Illinois Died 2000, Indianapolis, Indiana)
Lillian Hall Moholy-Nagy Style Construction, n.d. Watercolor construction on paper, 14 1/2 in. x 19 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Lillian Hall took classes at the Institute of Design in Chicago at the time of the New
Bauhaus movement. It is likely that she studied with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who opened the school in 1937 integrating art, craft and technology to develop the student's creative eye instead of specific skills.1 Receiving a bachelor of science degree in 1948, Lillian began graduate work at DePaul University in the early 1950s. She also took classes at the Metropolitan Art School in New York City and in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She was active in the city's arts organizations, especially the Chicago Society of Artists, where she held several posts on the board of directors. She worked on the Society's popular block-print calendar committee, which began in 1937, and created her own lino-cut prints for inclusion in the calendars.
Her print for the 1950 calendar is Vernal Equinox, which shows an array of summer items from a roller skate, baseball, and beach gear to flowers unfolding, welcoming spring with simplified shapes and a fragmented composition. In the 1930s, Lillian painted murals for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project and worked as an assistant in the WPA Gallery. Later she taught at the Institute of Design, the Chicago Academy of Art, and the Chicago Park District. Lillian said about her own artwork: "I believe in the importance of knowing one's craft, and in the manifestations of structured special relationships which provide a sound basis for a harmonious rela-
tionship of line, form, color, mass and texture. I am inspired by nature mostly, and intrigued by changes that are brought on by the seasons of the year. Man and his relation to his mechanized environment hold a particular fascination for me. These set in motion a myriad of mental images which readily adapt themselves to creative configurations."2 To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/LillianHall.
Lucie Hartrath (Born 1867, Boston, Massachusetts Died 1962, Chicago, Illinois)
Lucie Hartrath The Creek, circa 1917 Oil on canvas, 40 3/4 in. x 40 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection
Lucie Hartrath was one of the most admired landscape painters in Chicago in the early part of the twentieth century. Her paintings of autumn in Brown County, Indiana, were her finest. She had joined the growing art colony there in 1908, at first renting a cottage for the summer and later lengthening her stay to include the spring and fall. A hilly, secluded area, Brown County, near Nashville, was a painter's paradise, favored by many Chicago artists as a summer retreat from the city, as well as a rustic landscape to study and paint using plein air techniques.1 Lucie, an only child, was born in Boston and grew up in Cleveland. For many years, her parents apparently did not take her art-making seriously, a situation not un-
common for young women of cultured parents who expected their daughters to engage in limited art instruction suitable as a polite accomplishment. Lucie persevered, developing her skills on her own and studied in Europe and Chicago.2 By 1894, after two years at Academie Colarossi in Paris, she had settled in Chicago. Her paintings received singular praise from critics. "Lucie Hartrath's Watching the Minnows, three boys, ankle deep in a shallow brook, is one of the most satisfactory pictures in the exhibit," wrote a Chicago Daily Tribune reviewer in 1895.3 Lucie returned to Paris at the end of the century, and in 1906, studied in Munich, where she is said to have developed her love for landscape painting. Her modified im-
pressionist paintings featuring local scenes were prized by Midwestern patrons well into the 1930s. Although many Chicago artists were experimenting with modernist styles following the 1913 Armory Show (Chicago's introduction to European modernism), she remained, as a reviewer put it, "an earnest, sincere artist with a message of beauty that is inspiring in its appeal."4 To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/LucieHartrath.
Grace Hall Hemingway (Born 1872, Chicago, Illinois Died 1951, Oak Park, Illinois)
Grace Hall Hemingway Southwestern Landscape with Tree, circa 1928 Oil on board, 20 1/2 in. x 17 3/4 in. Lent by The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park
When Grace Hall Hemingway was 52 and her operatic voice began to fade, she
took up painting. She was as determined to succeed in her new creative venture as she had in her last. She was a singer, a contralto, raised in a musical family. She studied voice in New York City and made her debut at Madison Square Garden Theater as a soloist in 1896. On stage, the floodlights irritated her weak eyes, and she decided to return home to marry her beau, Clarence Hemingway. To Grace, marriage did not mean sacrificing her individuality, nor did it mean performing domestic chores, except of course rituals such as summoning her family to dinner with a song.1 Throughout her marriage, she continued her professional career, performing at recitals, composing songs (the
sheet music was published), and becoming a leading voice instructor. In 1924, she turned her attention to painting, registering at first for classes in Oak Parkâ€”even joining a "children's class because she thought the instruction was better"â€”and later studying at the Art Institute of Chicago.2 She painted four to five hours a day in the music room she had turned into an art studio. She used art, as she had music, to give her life direction.3 She painted landscapes and arranged for winter vacations in Florida, where she could continue to paint out-of-doors. Her work began to sell, and she reported to her son Ernest in a letter that one had sold for $250 and that she thought she'd begin raising her prices.
After her husband's death in 1928, more determined than ever to improve her skills, she traveled to Nantucket and New Mexico to paint. She learned to drive at age 60 and took herself into the desert, where she painted scenes like the one shown here. Between 1922 and 1951, she produced 600 paintings, taught painting privately, and gave illustrated lectures. During one of her popular talks, she shared her philosophy: "'The only thing in life that gives real happiness is creative work. â€Ś We all have some creative ability and if we refuse to give it an outlet, we live an aborted life.'"4
Grace Hall Hemingway Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Oak Park, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/GraceHemingway.
Natalie Smith Henry (Born 1907, Malvern, Arkansas Died 1992, Malvern, Arkansas)
Natalie Smith Henry White Doves, 1931 Oil, 25 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
When the town of Malvern, Arkansas, prohibited roller skating on sidewalks, Natalie Henry pulled out her pencils and paper and responded by creating a protest sketch. Apparently, it was not the first, nor the only, time she used art as a means of selfexpression when she was growing up, which in part, accounts for her high school classmates voting her "most original" (and "class giggler") when she graduated in 1925.1 Many years later she explained it succinctly in an artist statement for the Chicago Society of Artists: "The need to illustrate my thoughts was ever present in my very earliest years."2 Her formal art training began when she was 15 years old and enrolled in a magazine and book illustration program offered by the
International Correspondence School. Then in 1928, following two years at Galloway Women's College in Searcy, Arkansas, she moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute school and later the Hubert Ropp School of Art. She decided early on not to marry but to focus on her art career. She did, of course, need to support herself with parttime work. Her first jobs were as a typist at the Art Institute's Ryerson Library and as bookkeeper for Ropp School. What she chose to draw and paint were realistic everyday scenes, portraits, and landscapes that were familiar to her â€Ś the children walking to art class at the Art Institute, couples folk dancing in the park, a stream surging down a mountain. Her paintings told a story or expressed an idea, such
as the compassionate paintings she did of Jewish people leaving Europe at the beginning of World War II and the symbolic painting, Black Woman with Three White Doves shown here. For 36 years, Natalie and Rowena Fry shared an apartment/studio at the Tree Studios building next door to the Medinah Temple a few blocks north of the river in downtown Chicago. Natalie took a full-time job as a commercial artist, and in 1949, became the manager of the Art Institute school store, a position she held for twenty-three years. She and Rowena also made wood-block print designs for the Chicago Society of Artists' calendars, and in 1939, joined nine Chicago women artists calling themselves "Merry Christmas,
Unlimited" to market a line of Christmas cards to department stores. That was also the year she won a commission to paint a mural for the Springdale, Arkansas, post office. She was ineligible to work for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Arts Project (WPA/FAP) because she was not a full-time artist. Instead, she competed for the mural commission from the Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts, which hired artists to create murals and sculptures for newly constructed federal buildings. Her mural Local Industries features poultry and fruit farmers at work before an idyllic panoramic landscape. Natalie visited Springdale in 1939 and was impressed with the town's prosperity. She took pictures, including one of her fa-
ther, a county judge of Hot Spring County, traveling with her, posed with a chicken. He became the model for the poultry buyer on the left side of the mural.3
Natalie Smith Henry Local Industries, 1940 Oil on canvas Springdale, Arkansas post office Courtesy of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History (S95-177)
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/NatalieHenry.
Magda Heuermann (Born 1858, Galesburg, Illinois Died 1962, Sweet Springs, Missouri)
Magda Heuermann Self-Portrait, 1919 Egg tempra on ivory, 16 in. x 14 in. (unframed 3.25 x 2.75) Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of the Artist
It is said that Magda Heuermann became a miniature painter because of the Great Chicago Fire. She saved a family heirloom: a miniature portrait of an ancestor, made in Germany. She was 13 years old in 1871 when the fire broke out and spread across the city. She must have held the miniature tightly, a piece of the past that would change her life forever.1 Magda lived in Chicago, and later Oak Park, with her father and four sisters. She worked in various studios near the Art Institute and submitted her portraits and still lifes with success for exhibitions in Chicago (including the 1893 Columbian World's Fair) and around the country. She taught art and worked as a restorer and an illuminator, add-
ing decoration and illustrations to book pages. Magda studied in Munich from 1890 to 1892. Because it wouldn't do for her to travel alone, her father, a widower and likely retired from his job as an apothecary (a chemist), accompanied her. He kept a diary of their experiences in his native German language. Her miniatures were painted meticulously with mineral- or water-colors, often on pieces of ivory measuring only 3 by 4 inches. Sometimes she designed the miniature's setting as well, creating an elaborately gemmed piece of jewelry or a frame for the small painting. Many famous people sat for her, including Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II.
"I shall not say that the miniature is more artistic," Magda said, "but it has that peculiar charm which belongs to the mosaic and to an exquisitely carved bit of ivory. Though smaller, it may have all the character and virility one has the right to expect in the large canvas. However decorative the treatment, the study must be sincere."2 It is surprising to learn that a woman as steady as Magda brought up the end of a procession of costumed artists at a "futurist party" that followed the opening of the modern art Armory Show in Chicago in 1913. The party featured "women with wood shavings fixed in their hair, men wearing suits of shingles."3 Magda trailed a Cubist dog named Fido, which ran on wheels.4 Magda died in 1962 at the age of 103.
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MagdaHeuermann.
Belle Emerson Keith (Born 1865, Rockford, Illinois Died 1950, New York, New York)
Belle Emerson Keith Expectations, 1892 Oil on canvas, 26 in. x 30 1/2 in. Collection of Rockford Art Museum, Illinois, Gift of Mrs. Edward O. Lathrop
Inspired by her church, her friends, and her garden, Charlotte Belle Emerson Keith
painted throughout her life, sharing her artwork with the Rockford community and her creative approach to learning with Rockford children through the school she started. In 1888, two years after her graduation from a certificate program at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Belle (as she preferred to be called) traveled to Munich, Germany, where she trained with Carl von Marr, an expatriate artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whose paintings were at that time achieving marked success. He taught many American artists, including Belle, to paint in the academic realism and impressionism styles he preferred. Belle left Munich in 1890 to spend part of the year studying with Charles Lasar in Paris. Lasar, also an American expatriate,
had established an atelier in the Montparnasse section of the city where he taughtâ€” and championedâ€”mainly women students, including Cecilia Beaux, Violet Oakley, and Chicagoan Alice Kellogg Tyler. Belle continued her training in Munich for three more years before returning to Rockford. Her friends and patrons were drawn to her gentle subjects and representational style, often informal, intimate views made lively with a light impressionistic palette and quick strokes. She began showing her paintings with the Rockford Sketch Club and the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1890s, and continued to paint and display her work for the rest of her life.
The idea to form a school came to her when she entered her only child, Mary (born in 1908), in the city's public elementary school only to find that the teaching techniques were not to her liking. She hired an English governess to instruct her daughter and invited the children of several friends to join her. There were eight students in all and, eventually, three instructors. Belle believed that teachers should focus on each student's abilities and talents, giving them the opportunity to learn creatively and individually, Montessori-style, through "experience and self-directed study."1 In its second year, Keith Country Day School was so popular that the number of students had more than tripled. Classes were
held in Belle's Main Street home, which she had to remodel to accommodate the growing enrollment. The school relocated in 1920 to a 15-acre campus overlooking the Rock River, where it stands today. Some years after her husband passed away in 1929, Belle moved into the carriage house behind her home. There she continued painting and writing poetry with her close friend L. J. Corrothers, a retired Keith School drama teacher. She painted what she knew and lovedâ€”her flowers, nature, portraits of friends, and children. "'She had a wonderful sense of good humor,'" a friend said. She was wise and cultured and strong, he felt. Yet human â€Ś and that was the secret of her influence.2
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/BelleKeith.
Amy Kirkpatrick (Born 1862, Anna, Illinois Died 1935, Union County, Illinois)
Amy Kirkpatrick Portrait of Cornwall Kirkpatrick, undated Charcoal on paper, 31 in. x 26 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of Margaret Kirkpatrick
A diminutive red-haired woman with a penchant for flamboyant turn-of-the-century
hats, Amy Kirkpatrick was the most popular local artist in southern Illinois' Union County in the late 1800s. Affectionately called Miss Birdie, she spent most of her life in the small town of Anna, painting the surrounding landscape with a light, colorful touch while teaching art at Union Academy. In the early 1880s, she studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (later the Art Institute of Chicago), then taught at the Toledo Academy of Fine Arts in Ohio. Returning home, she established herself as a painter of note, and in 1889, joined the teaching staff at the Union Academy, a private high school in Anna. Art classes were held in her studio in the Willard Bank block on Main Street. Drawing sessions cost 12 Â˝ cents, and paint-
ing instruction was 50 cents extra.1 Nineteen years later, with the addition of Benton Hall, the Academy added an art studio for Miss Birdie's classes.2 But teaching was not her strength. "She could illustrate, though she could not instruct," it was said.3 The Kirkpatrick family were potters who found beds of excellent clay about four miles from Anna. The rich, creamy-white kaolin clay was considered the best throwing clay in the world. The Kirkpatrick brothers (Amy's father and uncle) sold the prized clay to pottery companies around the country. Then they shaped and fired a local brown clay to create utilitarian and fanciful stoneware pieces. Miss Birdie was known to decorate these objects, painting on the tops of fired stoneware urns and serving dishes.4
As for her oil paintings, southern Illinois art historian Esther May Ayers thought Miss Birdie's portraits were "especially fine." But what the artist preferred to paint were impressions of the landscapes near her home, imbuing them with a sense of mystery, often wrapping them in mists, and including hills disappearing into the distance.5 Miss Birdie displayed her work in Anna, especially at the county fairs, and at a gallery in Chicago. In 1884, she received honorable mention for a painting shown at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans.
Amy Kirkpatrick, n.d. The Meller Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AmyKirkpatrick.
Dulah Evans Krehbiel (Born 1875, Oskaloosa, Iowa Died 1951, Evanston, Illinois)
Dulah Evans Krehbiel Mountains of the Blue Moon, 1934 Oil on canvas, 29 in. x 30 in. Lent by the Krehbiel Corporation
What is particularly interesting about Dulah Evans Krehbiel's body of work is the
series of modernist paintings she created in the 1920s and 1930s. Influenced by the mystical paintings of Arthur B. Davies, California contemporary art (where she lived for three years in the late 1910s), and work of early Chicago modernists, such as Raymond Jonson and Rudolph Weisenborn, Dulah's paintings of surreal mountain landscapes with female figures are certainly her most intriguing. Dulah began her formal art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Graduating in the late 1890s, she attended illustration classes in New York City, and studied painting with impressionist William Merritt Chase. She returned to Chicago to pursue a career as a commercial artist at the height of the Golden Age of Illustration
(1880-1920). She designed covers for Ladies Home Journal and Harper's Bazaar, prepared advertisements for Marshall Field & Co., and illustrated a cookbook for the Armour Company. In 1910, after assisting her husband, painter Albert Krehbiel, with a commission he had won to design and paint 13 murals for the Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield, she opened Ridge Crafts Studio in her home in Park Ridge, Illinois, where she designed and handcolored greeting cards and bookplates. In 1915, a year after her son Evans was born, she closed the studio. Evans became her favorite model. He is pictured here with Dulah's sister Mayetta on the beach in California. The Krehbiels and Mayetta lived on the West Coast and often
travelled to New Mexico. By 1917, family responsibilities had increased, leaving Dulah little time to paint. She was, however, giving her artwork thought. When she began to paint again, her work took on new meaning. She used figures in her paintings as she always had and her technique was as sound as it had been, but she had developed a highly personal vision she wanted to express and chose a fantasy style in which to do it. Her paintings are revealing statements, reflecting her desire for self-sufficiency.1 In 1921, she returned to signing her work using her maiden name, and over the next decade, tried unsuccessfully to leave her husband, always returning home unable to support herself, Evan, and Mayetta with her artwork sales.
For the next 20 years, she let her imagination fly, creating ethereal landscapes populated with female figures, often arranging them in threes, suggesting a spiritual reference. The gentle, unadorned women are seen gathered on precipitous paths of sweeping mountain ranges and in protected valleys that open up to a luminous sky. Known as the "Park Ridge modernist," Dulah showed her work at progressive galleries and in independent exhibits in Chicago.2 The timing was right. Chicago artists, including a number of women painters, were experimenting with modernist styles and finding success in an atmosphere in which their work was praised by important critics, supported by independent arts organizations, and encouraged at the Art Institute School.
Albert died in 1945, and Dulah six years later in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. By then, their son Evans Llan Krehbiel was a comic strip artist and went on to be an illustrator for Whitman Publishing. Although Dulah and other early modernist artists are relatively unknown, their work influenced Chicago artists of the 1950s and 1970s.
Dulah Evans Krehbiel Orange Umbrellas on the Beach
Oil on canvas Private collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/DulahKrehbiel.
Evelyn Beatrice Longman (Born 1874, Winchester, Ohio Died 1954, Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
Evelyn Beatrice Longman Winged Victory, 1914 Bronze, 14 1/2 in. x 6 in. x 6 in. Lent by the Oregon Public Library
In 1906, Evelyn Longman submitted her design for bronze doors for the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland. She signed her drawing "E. B. Longman,"
and when her work was selected and the jury realized she was a woman, they said that had they known, she would have been disqualified from entering the contest. Still, her designs were accepted and appreciated for their "lofty sentiment and high ideals." They were "an epic in bronze."1 Evelyn Longman had purposefully entered the highly competitive, maledominated field of large-scale sculpture. She was one of the very few women who did. She succeeded by her talents, yesâ€”and by avoiding women-centered organizations, campaigns for suffrage, and similar social causes, so as not to "endanger her own status."2 Evelyn was born in a log cabin in Winchester, Ohio. Her father was a musician and
artist who turned to farming to support his large family. When his financial situation worsened, he moved his family to Chicago. In 1888, when she was 14, Evelyn left school to work in a dry goods warehouse. She had always sketched for her own amusement, and when possible, took classes at the School of the Art Institute. By 1893, she had saved enough money to go to school full-time and spent her first year at Olivet College in southern Michigan. Inspired by the monumental statuary she saw at the Chicago World's Fair, she had decided to become a sculptor, and at Olivet she began modeling on her own in the art department. The following year, she returned to the Art Institute for further study and worked as
one of noted sculptor Lorado Taft's assistants. She graduated two years later. In 1901, Evelyn moved to New York City, where she became the only woman assistant ever hired by Daniel Chester French, and worked on several of his projects, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Allegorical figures became her specialty. In 1904, her sculpture Victory was mounted on top of Festival Hall at the St. Louis World's Fair, and in 1915, AT&T commissioned Genius of Electricity, a gilded bronze statue weighing 20,000 pounds and standing 20 feet high. It was placed on top of the AT&T building in New York City.3 In 1918, Nathaniel Horton Batchelder hired her to prepare a memorial to his late
wife. Two years later, they married and moved to Connecticut. Recently, art historian Ellen Wiley Todd determined that Evelyn Longman had sculpted the Triangle Fire Memorial to the Unknown in Brooklyn's Evergreens Cemetery. It honors the unidentified women who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911. As might be expected, she did not sign the finished work. Todd explained, "Longman found her way up a social and professional ladder precisely by exercising moderate, gracious, dignified behavior rather than by espousing any positions, such as the cause of working women."4
Evelyn Beatrice Longman The Triangle Fire Memorial to the Unknowns, 1912 Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York Courtesy of the photographer Ken Druse
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/EvelynLongman.
Isobel Steele MacKinnon (Born Negaunee, Michigan, 1896 Died Chicago, Illinois 1972)
Isobel Steele MacKinnon Untitled (Female Portrait), circa 1927 Oil, pastel on paper, 16 1/4 in. x 13 in. Courtesy of the Estate of Isobel Steele MacKinnon and Corbett vs. Dempsey
Isobel Steele MacKinnon was an American Impressionist painter until she and her husband, artist Edgar Rupprecht, moved to Germany in 1925 to study with Hans Hofmann, one of the most important modern artists in Europe and later the United States. Isobel became Hofmann's best student and produced cubistic and expressionist landscape paintings and portraits of American and German sitters, like the one shown here. Isobel and Edgar met at the Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting in Saugatuck, Michigan, in 1921. They married and lived in Chicago until their interest in modernism compelled them to go to Europe to study. For four years, they trained at the Hans Hofmann School in Munich and spent sum-
mers with their teacher in Capri and SaintTropez, on the French Riviera, in the landscape already immortalized by CĂŠzanne. In 1929, they moved to Paris to paint a different view. There, they displayed their work in American exhibits. They returned to Chicago in 1932, when their daughter Elizabeth was born. Edgar was hired as an instructor at the School of the Art Institute. Isobel continued to paint, entering her work in the Art Institute annual exhibits and receiving several awards. In 1945, she was hired as an instructor at the Art Institute to assist with the overflow of GIs returning from World War II who found that art helped them to forget. A very popular and influential teacher, she taught for nearly 20 years, and from her
classes came many of the city's finest artists of the next several decades. She carried on Hofmannâ€™s legacy of exploring ideas of space, and because she did, her students were collectively known as the â€œspace cadets."1 Recently the paintings and drawings Isobel did while in Europe were shown at the Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery in Chicago. John Corbett said that "she painted with a palpable power and sureness." 2 Isobel's daughter Elizabeth Rupprecht is also a painter and a professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute. She is on the board of directors at Ox-Bow and continues to spend summers there, as she did with her parents.
To learn more about Isobel Steele MacKinnon, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/IsobelMacKinnon.
Pauline Palmer (Born McHenry, Illinois, 1867 Died Tondheim, Norway, 1938)
Pauline Palmer Woman in a Garden, circa 1910 Oil on canvas, 35 in. x 42 1/2 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/ Gift of Deborah Boden 1986.33
There is something irresistible about Pauline Palmer's portrait paintings. If you commissioned her in the early 1900s to pre-
pare your portrait, you were practically guaranteed to look your loveliest, posed where the artist could best interpret the sunlight to give energy and beauty to the canvas. In her impressionist style, which became lighter, less dabbled, and more American over time, Pauline created portraits of prominent Chicagoans as often as she did the Portuguese fishermen's families she hired to model for her while at her summer home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She also painted picturesque village scenes and seascapes of New England coastal towns. Trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, and later in Paris and Germany, Pauline was persistent and careful in her studies and in pursuing her career.1 She worked hard at it.
Her parents, "liberal German intellectuals," had encouraged her art training early on.2 Her husband, a doctor, gave her the support she needed to become "Chicago's Painter Lady." She exhibited work in the Art Institute of Chicago annuals for 30 years, winning nearly every award and prize offered. Her decorative compositions and pleasing representations were appreciated well into the 1930s. In 1918, she became the first woman president of the Chicago Society of Artists. A few years later, when the organization accepted works by three abstract artists for the annual exhibition, Pauline and other conservative CSA members seceded, forming the Chicago Association of Painters and
Sculptors. In 1938, Pauline went on a painting trip to Norway with her sister Marie Lennards. In Trondheim, she became ill and passed away.
Pauline Palmer The Coral Beads, circa 1910 Oil on board, 24 in. x 18 in. Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/PaulinePalmer.
Clara Cahill Park (Born 1869, Hubbardston, Michigan Died 1952, Chicago, Illinois)
Clara Cahill Park Darjeeling Portrait, circa 1935 Pastel, 20 in. x 14 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus
Clara Cahill Park raised her four children in several cities in the United States and Europe where her husband, noted soci-
ologist Robert Ezra Park, was performing research and teaching. His area of interest was African and African-American culture. Hers was art, writing, and social reform. Clara studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy before marrying Robert in 1894, and continued studying, taking classes, and showing her work throughout her life. In the 1890s, she illustrated her husband's articles with pen and ink sketches. She also wrote and prepared sketches for the Clack Book Journal. In 1904, the Park family moved to a suburb of Boston. Clara showed her watercolor sketches and portrait paintings in several venues, including the Society of Western Artists exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago and O'Brien's Gallery in the same city.
Reviewing her artwork displayed at O'Brien's in 1903, a critic wrote, "Mrs. Park shows imagination as well as skill. She has some glowing woodland scenes, and is evidently a lover of nature in its most emphatic moods. A distinctive picturesqueness characterizes all her work."1 In the early 1900s Clara wrote a column for a Boston newspaper called "It Seems to Me", supporting the women's rights movement. In 1911, she argued for state help for widowed mothers and proposed a bill that was introduced and passed by the state legislature to form a commission to study the needs of widowed mothers and their children. She was named secretary of the commission.
By the late 1920s, the Park family had lived in Chicago for more than a decade. Clara's children were raised, and she had joined her husband on several of his expeditions to primitive areas around the world. Her sketches of Java, Sumatra, Bali, and China were shown at the city's Cordon Club and later at the City Club in Hyde Park. In 1935, she exhibited in the All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts show at Chicagoâ€™s Stevens Building, receiving praise from art critic Eleanor Jewett for her "intriguing pastel portraits."2 She showed her work and gave talks about her travel experiences to organizations in the Chicago area. In 1949 the Cordon Club hung an exhibit of artwork by three generations of women artists in her family:
Clara and her daughter Theodosia showed portraits, and Sylvia, Theodosia's daughter, showed a landscape painting. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/ClaraCahill.
Grace Ravlin (Born 1873, Kaneville, Illinois Died 1956, Plano, Illinois)
Grace Ravlin Courtyard Fountain, Cuernavaca, Mexico, circa 1925 Oil on canvas, 34 in. x 30 in. Lent by Rebekah and Ben Kohli
Grace Ravlin called herself an ethnographical painter. Just look at her paintings
from Morocco and Tunisia, Taos and Santa Domingo, and you will understand why. She was a landscape painter, yes. But what she learned through observation and study of the habits of the native people and their relationships with their land was what she described on her canvases. She found festivals and ceremonies particularly telling, depicting the event or its preparations in her post-impressionist, highcolor style. She captured the way it felt to be there. Her paintings are lit by the sun and often suggest the scene's movement. Sometimes a painting offers stillness at midday, an escape from the heat, like the Mexican courtyard shown here. Raised on a farm in Kaneville, Illinois, Grace was said by her relatives to be "ambi-
tious and purposeful."1 Following an optional art class in high school, she was determined to be an artist and arranged to study at the Art Institute in Chicago, although it took her a decade to do so. To further her studies, she went to Europe in 1906. Based in Paris, she traveled throughout the continent and into Northern Africa. She stayed until the First World War began. In 1916 and 1917, she joined the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies, portraying Indian processionals and pueblo activities that brought her great praise. She was in New York City in 1918, where she painted a Red Cross parade marching down Fifth Avenue. Stirred by what she saw, Grace trained as a nurse's aide and was sent to Paris to work in a Red Cross canteen.
Soon after her arrival in Paris in 1906, she wrote to her sister, "I’d really like to amount to something if I could."2 She certainly did. Self-reliant, independent, Grace exhibited frequently, won awards, and supported herself through sales of her artwork. In September, 2011, referring to the painted sketch below, Alta Ann Parkins Morris wrote: Grace Ravlin was my great aunt. In 1936, eleven years after making this painting she ended a letter to my mother with: “… enclose handsome drawing … for your child!” At age seven I was charmed by the smallness of the piece of paper but had no interest
in the trees and fountain she had painted there. Still, I saved it. In the little sketch you can see the time-line of what caught her eye: fountain first and then the backdrop sky, leafy-greens put there before the painted ground that was before the doorway and the arch. Last came her ink outline on damp paper to highlight important elements the major protagonists of the larger painting. After more than seven decades of separate existence, painting and sketch found each other through plans for this exhibition at the Lakeview Museum in Peoria. I received a photo of the Courtyard Fountain
from my second cousin once removed, Rebekah Kohli, who loaned the picture. We had also lost track of each other for many years. Ravlin was an expert at finding an intimate view of every-year festival-occasions. Most of her paintings announce themselves. Here, the stage is set in a quieter locale where the landscapeâ€™s actors are always on and the intermission is the performance.3
Grace Ravlin Preliminary Sketch for Courtyard Fountain, Cuernavaca, Mexico, circa 1925 Watercolor Alta Ann Parkins Morris
To learn more about the painting, listen to Alta Ann's audio at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artist/GraceRavlin.
Josephine Lemos Reichmann (Born 1864, Louisville, Kentucky Died 1938, Chicago, Illinois)
Josephine Reichmann Fishing Boats, circa 1928 Oil on canvas, 41 1/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum
Unlike many of the women who put aside their art studies to marry and raise
their children, Josephine Reichmann returned to her artwork after her four children were grown. She honed her skills once again, entered exhibits, and developed a following. She modified her early impressionist style to include modernist ideas but kept the principles of both in mind. Fishing Boats shows her distinctive use of color and the serene quality she achieves in her paintings. As contemporary critic Eleanor Jewett wrote, "Mrs. Reichmann's modernism is not the bitter type. It plays with pattern and movement. It delights in design. When one thinks of those who paint for sheer love of painting, one thinks of her."1 Josephine was a painter of landscapes, marines, and still lifes in oil and watercolor.
She began painting with her mother, Julia Lemos, who had learned to draw and to make lithographs from her father, Baron Eustace Wyszynski, a miniature painter and printmaker from Poland. Little is known of Julia Lemos' artistic accomplishments, except for her famous painting of the Chicago fire of 1871, which hangs in the Chicago Historical Museum, and her ability to earn a living as a lithographer in Chicago in the late 1800s. As the great fire moved east and north through the city, closing in on the Lemos home, Julia led her five childrenâ€” including Josephineâ€”and her parents to safety. Josephine married Frank Reichmann, a railroad freightman and radio manufacturer. She named one of her daughters Josephine
Dorothea Reichmann. Both women were Chicago artists, exhibiting in the same shows, volunteering for the same art organizations. When daughter Josephine's first husband (Philip Increase Robinson) died in 1919, she took his middle name as her first name. For Increase Robinson, having a name that sounded like a man's had the benefit, some said, of not being typecast as a woman artist.2 Josephine exhibited widely, both in Chicago at the Art Institute annuals and in other cities as a member of the American Watercolor Society and National Association of Women Artists. By 1929, Increase owned a gallery with her friend, art writer and curator Katherine Kuh, in the Diana Court building on Michi-
gan Avenue. Josephine's paintings were included in several of the gallery's exhibits. At the Bryn Mawr Woman's Club on Chicago's North Side, mother and daughter were invited to display their work indefinitely, which of course they did. In the mid1930s, Josephine worked in the Easel Division of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project, creating paintings that were exhibited at community art centers, schools, and public buildings, which were later made available for sale. From 1935 to 1938, Increase supervised the Illinois FAP as the first local state director. Josephine's reputation was substantial. Her paintings were a popular choice for Chicago patrons. She was actively exhibiting in the last year of her life. In fact, she
had joined the newly formed Chicago Women Artists' Salon in 1937 and participated in their first exhibit. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/JosephineReichma nn.
Garada Clark Riley (Born 1893, Chicago, Illinois Died 1991, Highland Park, Illinois)
Garada Clark Riley North Shore Landscape, circa 1935 Oil on canvas, 33 in. x 39 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/ Gift of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Marshall 2008.23
If you've driven along Sheridan Road in the suburbs north of Chicago, you'll recog-
nize the scene in this painting. Called North Shore Landscape, it could more aptly be titled The Ravines, in its mesmerizing depiction of the steep winding section of the road north of Winnetka as it follows the Lake Michigan shoreline toward Wisconsin. Driving the ravines requires concentration. The road plunges downward, then up again, with a sharp turn to the right. Painted in the mid-1930s, the image shows the influence of the thickly textured paintings of post-impressionists such as Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillardâ€” whose works Garada observed while studying in Parisâ€”as well as the roots of the abstracted images in her later paintings.1 She travelled to Paris in 1914 and 1923, studying
with Cubist painters Fernand Leger and Andre L'Hote. Garada lived for many years in Highland Park and showed her artwork at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she had studied with American impressionist Louis Ritman. She depended on her work as a book illustrator to help support her family. Her childrenâ€™s books, such as Little Sonny Sunfish from 1923, are still enjoyed today. Her husband, Frank, was also an artist and illustrator. They had one child, a son named William. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/GaradaRiley.
Susan Hely St. John (Born 1834, Dublin, Ireland Died 1913, Boston, Massachusetts)
Susan Hely St. John John Stephen Wright, c. 1865-1870 Oil on canvas, 36 in. x 31 3/4 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mr. Augustine Washington Wright
Susan Hely St. John learned to make portraitsâ€”to capture the personality as well as the features of the sitterâ€”from her father, Hilliard Hely. He was a professional portrait painter who noted his daughter's interest in drawing at an early age and encouraged her. When she was 3 years old, Susan immigrated with her family to Racine County, Wisconsin. Later the family moved to Illinois. In mid-century, there were few opportunities for formal art training for women. They learned by working with their fathers (as Susan did) or brothers in their studios, or studied individually and in small groups with a professional painter. Susan worked hard at her training, which served her well. Over time, she became a recognized talent in Chicago. For
several years, she worked for portrait painter G. P. A. Healy, whose clients included prominent social and political figures in Chicago and the East Coast, including eleven U.S. presidents. Good technicians like Susan were employed to paint backgrounds and details while the famed artist painted the main figure. She likely worked on the Healy portraits that hang in many Chicago homes and museums. In the years following the Civil War, Susan Hely St. John prepared this view of John Stephen Wright, giving his face an optimistic, becoming glow. Wright was, in effect, Chicago's press agentâ€”a man described as having extraordinary vision and zeal. He owned property as well as a company that manufactured reapers and mowers.
He was interested in encouraging people to move to the Midwest, especially Chicago— and hopefully buy his equipment. He wrote articles published in East Coast magazines telling the advantages and prospective greatness of Chicago. Along with portrait commissions, Susan painted floral still lifes and genre pictures of children. She displayed her work in the first exhibition of Chicago artists, held in 1864 in the Art Emporium on Washington Street. Two hundred paintings were shown. Hers was acknowledged in the newspaper. The reviewer said that "she has very fine talent— nay, genius—for color."1 A year earlier, Susan had donated work to the Northwestern Soldier's Fair to aid the sick and wounded from the Civil War.
Her studio was in the Crosby Opera House, which housed many artists' studios and an exhibition space where she exhibited with the Opera House Art Association. In 1870, a fire broke out in her studio and ruined all of her paintings. The Chicago Tribune reported that "Mrs. St. John with her customary enterprise will start afresh, undaunted by her losses."2 Susan later moved to New York City with her husband, Josephus St. John, a doctor. Several times, she returned to Paris to study, taking her son James Allen with her. He remembered being in her studio as a child and having the eyes of her portraits follow him around the room.
In 1898, Susan settled in Boston and set up her studio in Copley Hall, which is where she died in 1913. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/SusanStJohn.
Flora Schofield (Born 1871, Lanark, Illinois Died 1960, Chicago, Illinois)
Flora Schofield Julia Thecla Painting from a Model, circa 1948 Opaque watercolor on paper, 29 in. x 23 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of Shreve Badger Schofield
Flora Schofield and husband Frank, a lawyer, lived on East Pearson Street, two blocks from Chicago's historic Water Tower on Michigan Avenue. In 1934, Flora designed their three-story home to accommodate her profession by including a studio for herself, another for her son, Paul, and an exhibition room. It was a meeting place for artists for many years. In 1940, her son married artist Frances Badger in his motherâ€™s second-floor studio. One of the women Flora knew well was Julia Thecla, who is sketched here attending a life class. Flora composed this watercolor sketch to put us on intimate terms with Julia. By cropping out most of her body, the paper she is working on, and other art students in the room, Flora brings us right next to Julia.
Giving us an instructor's viewâ€”over the student's shoulderâ€”the painting demonstrates how important "construction and organization of the picture" was to her.1 Flora was a painter and printmaker of figures, floral still lifes, and city scenes. Her images were both abstract and representational, often Cubist-inspired; her use of color was influenced by Matisse. "If the so-called modern movement in art has meant anything," Flora wrote in 1933, "it has taught the importance of good drawing. â€Ś I do not mean photographic drawing. I mean sensitive drawing, where any liberty can be taken with natural forms and lines."2 Flora studied in Paris, maintaining a studio there for 9 years, and in Province-
town, Massachusetts, where she was an early proponent of the uniquely American white-line woodcut print technique developed in 1915. The new method required one block of wood for the entire design instead of a block for each color. The simplicity of the method and its applicability to Cubist designs appealed to Illinois artists like Flora who worked and exhibited with the Provincetown Printers.
Flora Schofield Untitled (View of Harbor), circa 1925 Watercolor, 11 1/2 in. x 15 in. Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/FloraSchofield.
Laura Slobe (Born 1909, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Died 1958, New York, New York)
Laura Slobe Baseball Player, circa 1935 Plaster, 41 in. x 16 in. x 19 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Courtesy of the Fine Art Program,
Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration. Commissioned through the New Deal art projects.
What an interesting character Laura Slobe must have been. An expressionist painter in the 1920s, open to new ideas, she turned to sculpture 15 years later, and it is for this that she is remembered. She often chose traditional subjects, portraying them in a modernist, Picasso-like style. Her sculpture shown here was made in the mid-1930s. Regardless of the title of the work (which was assigned to the piece after Laura's death and suggests a baseball catcher in a crouched position), the figure could be seen as wearing timeless classical Greek clothing and is posed in a contemplative or reflective stance.
His face is replaced by what might be a light bulb protected by a wire mesh or screen, and in his right hand, he holds a Greek theater mask. Does the light bulb represent an idea, or the advances in the science of electricity? Is the mesh a protective screen, helping him guard his bright mind, as Eastern philosopher Mencius suggested was important for every man to do? Is that his fate that he holds in his hand? In her brief career, Laura worked steadily for the WPA/Illinois Art Project, showed her work frequently at the Art Institute, and won awards. Occasionally, her work appeared in exhibitions with paintings by her mother, artist Thelma Slobe. Laura was experimental in her approach to art and in her affiliations. In 1937, she
showed work in the opening exhibit of the Artists' Union of Chicago's gallery. An outgrowth of the Marxist John Reed Club, the Artists Union was organized in 1936 to mediate between artists and the WPA's Illinois director Increase Robinson. The artists objected to Robinson's restrictive, conservative policies. In 1938, Laura's entry in the Chicago Women's Salon exhibit at the Findlay Galleries on South Michigan Avenue was described by Chicago Daily Tribune art critic Eleanor Jewett as "one of the silliest concoctions to get by under the name of art."1 Jewett clearly didn't like Laura's inventive, modernist style. In 1940, she reviewed an exhibit at the Katharine Kuh gallery, reporting that Laura's work "seems to me amaz-
ingly illegitimate stuff, the worst antic Chicago modernism has yet foisted upon a longsuffering public."2 Following her death at age 48, the Art Institute established the Laura Slobe Memorial Prize in Sculpture presented to new sculptors producing experimental work. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/LauraSlobe.
Ann Burnham Smith (Born 1921, Winnetka Illinois Died 2001, Exeter, New Hampshire)
Ann Burnham Smith Sailboats in San Francisco Harbor, 1947 Watercolor on paper, 24 1/2 in. x 21 3/4 in. Lent by Jane Smith Bernhardt
Ann Burnham was only nine months old when her mother artist Anita Burnham decided her family of six should spend a year traveling in Europe. Yet by the time they returned home, Ann was producing sketches of their travels. Her earliest, when she was two years old, is a self-portrait showing her rolling her stroller piled with satchels. Her mother included it in her book Round the World on a Penny, as well as other paintings Ann made on their second lengthy family trip when she was seven. Ann graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and showed her work at the annual student exhibitions. She taught art and became an art therapist after moving to Connecticut with her husband.
Two of her daughters have become artists as well. Ann returned to the log house in the late 1980s to care for her sister Carol-Lou, and when she died, Ann stayed on, becoming the last resident of the oldest house in Cook County.
Ann Burnham Smith Book stalls of Paris, circa 1930 A. W. Burnham, Round the World on a Penny1
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AnnSmith.
Ethel Spears (Born 1903, Chicago, Illinois Died 1974, Navasota, Texas)
Ethel Spears Oak Street Beach at Night, circa 1940 Watercolor, gouache on paper, 25 in. x 33 1/8 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago
Ethel Spears Class at the Art Institute, circa 1930 Watercolor on paper, 18 in. x 21 3/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of Gerald Adelmann
In 1937, C. J. Bulliet told his Chicago Daily News readers how he saw Ethel Spears' paintings. "Generally, a glance tells you the main â€˜story,'" he said. "But, as you
examine the details, your grin grows broader and broader."1 Ethel's detailed paintings are layered with figures and visual narratives. Her skillful, illustrational style displays wit, originality, and deliberation. It is comfortable, realistic. She was a documentarian, a storyteller of everyday life, using art as autobiography. She created journal-like watercolor and tempera paintings of what she saw around her, a method that may have been inspired by her grandfather, who recorded his sea travels in a painted diary.2 She began her training at the Art Institute of Chicago in the textile design department, graduating in 1923. Later she took up painting, developing her own progressive technique. She left Chicago for a time to live
in Woodstock, New York, and then New York City to study with modernist artist Alexander Archipenko. She traveled to Paris, returning with characteristically engaging paintings. She painted muralsâ€”her first commission was for the Tea Room in Mather Hall at the Art Instituteâ€”and she worked in the mural and easel department for the federal relief art project during the Depression, completing 20 murals for hospitals, schools, and libraries in Illinois and paintings that were distributed nationally.3 Ethel taught at the Art Institute school for twenty-four years, establishing a serigraphy department in 1948 and enamel classes in 1953. But the enameling classrooms were overcrowded and the ventilation poor, and
she discovered she had lead poisoning several years later. She underwent treatment and sought solutions that improved conditions for faculty and students.4 In 1961, she and her life partner, artist and teacher Kathleen Blackshear, retired and moved to Kathleen's hometown of Navasota, Texas, where Ethel died in 1974. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/EthelSpears.
Anna Lee Stacey (Born 1871, Glasgow, Maryland Died 1943, Pasadena, California)
Anna L. Stacey Bon Voyage, 1907 Oil on canvas, 20 in. x 18 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection
In the early years of the 20th century, Anna Stacey and her husband John, a land-
scape painter, lived in a two-room apartment-studio at the popular Tree Studio building on Chicago's near north side. They stayed for more than 20 years. Up the hall, Bertha Menzler Dressler painted her western desert scenes. Nearby, Anna Lynch executed her miniature portraits. Anna Stacey's studio was as it was expected to be with "its dull oriental rugs, picture covered walls, queer brasses hanging about, and some old inlaid mahogany窶馬ot to mention the green baize screen," according to a 1909 article in the Chicago Daily Tribune.1 In the same article, Anna mentioned that at first she "dabbled in water color," creating easy-to-make works that sold well.2 She had studied oil painting in Kansas City,
Missouri, where she met and married John. She continued her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, and later the Academie Delacluse in Paris. She painted artistic figures, portraits, and landscapes in a conservative impressionist style, like the one shown here of a young woman leaving Gloucester, Massachusetts at the end of a summer vacation. In the early 1900s, Anna and her husband spent their summers painting along the shores of Connecticutâ€™s Mystic River and in the art colony of Gloucester. Her plein air (out-of-doors) paintings were prized by Chicago patrons, especially the seascapes. The newspaper commented that "she catches the glint and the peculiar transparency of water with the promised result that some day
America is to wake up and find itself with a genuine marine artist among its women painters."3 Between 1895 and 1939, she showed nearly 300 paintings at the Art Institute's annual exhibitions. Over time her paintings became more spontaneous, approaching the intense color palette of the Fauvists, yet she returned routinely to her more stylized figures and landscapes throughout her career. In 1937, the Stacey's moved to Pasadena, California, where Anna died in 1943. Before her death, she established a trust fund for an annual scholarship that furthers a student's art education in the conservative tradition. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma oversees the scholarship.
Anna L. Stacey, 1904
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AnnaStacey.
Frances Strain (Born 1898, Chicago, Illinois Died 1962, Chicago, Illinois)
Frances Strain The Conversation, 1929 Oil on board, 24 in. x 20 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Frances Strain was "an artist's artist," wrote Harold Haydon, an art critic for the
Chicago Sun-Times and an artist himself.1 She was hugely productive, generous in her support for fellow artists, innovative in exhibition design, and greatly loved and appreciated by the many artists who knew her. Her own artwork ranged from an urban realism style she learned studying with Ashcan school painter George Bellows to experimental scenes with a fantasy quality, such as Life and Death in New Orleans and The Conversation, a highly textured, brilliantly colored expressionist portrait of artists Vin Hannell, Gus Dalstrom, and Fred Biesel, Frances' husband. In 1933, she wrote to J. Z. Jacobson, who was compiling statements from Chicago modernist artists, that she believed in "painting as an end in itself, that is, that the
work should contain a world of its own to be enjoyed for its own sake and not as a decoration, an embellishment or a reproduction of something else. I try to concern myself more with what the subject means to me than with its appearance."2 Frances and her husband were founders of the Chicago No-Jury Society in 1923 and the Ten Artists of Chicago (1928) at a time when progressive artists found it difficult to be accepted for the Art Institute of Chicago annual exhibits and other conservative gallery shows. Both modernist groups offered exhibition opportunities to artists regardless of their artistic styles. To be accepted for a No-Jury show, the artist simply had to be a society member. The men and women of the Ten were friends
whose ideas were modernist and their styles moderately so.3 Often they exhibited their work at the Marshall Field Galleries. As exhibition director of the University of Chicago's Renaissance Society from 1941 to 1962, Frances organized, mounted, and marketed nine distinctive exhibits annually, taking summers off to paint and re-energize herself at the Biesel's vacation home near the Indiana sand dunes, about a two hour drive from Chicago. Frances had a talent for designing exhibits, bringing progressive national and international artists' work to the attention of Chicagoans. She also championed area artists, fostering them, advocating for them and including them in many exhibits.
"Art was her life," Haydon explained. "What she could do through art for others she did. â€Ś She touched hearts as few persons do."4
Frances Strain Life and Death in New Orleans, 1937 Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 in. x 23 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/FrancesStrain.
Elizabeth Shuff Taylor (Born 1880, New Berlin, Illinois Died 1969, Buffalo, New York)
Elizabeth Shuff Taylor Reindeer, circa 1919 Ink on paper, 12 in. x 13 in. Lent by Anne MacGregor, the artist's granddaughter
Elizabeth Shuff Taylor Irma Taylor, circa 1906 Oil on paper, 4 1/8 in. x 3 5/8 in. Lent by Elizabeth Preston
In 1922, after 20 years of training, painting portraits, making etchings and color woodblock prints, at the very apex of her effort, Elizabeth Shuff Taylor retired from art-making.
Raised on a farm in Island Grove, Illinois, Elizabeth studied first at Illinois Women's College in Jacksonville, majoring in art. She was determined to become a painter and continued her education at the Art Institute, after she and her husband moved to Chicago, and later with the innovative Provincetown Printers in Massachusetts during the summers. From 1910 through 1921, her paintings were selected for 12 Art Institute annual exhibitions, and her woodblock prints were shown in two Provincetown Art Association exhibits. The single block or "white-line" woodblock print of a reindeer shown here was created as a Christmas card for modernist artist Blanche Lazzell, a leader in the Provincetown Printers artist group.
Her daughter Judith was born in 1921, when Elizabeth was 40 years old. She gave away much of her artwork and raised her daughter. Toward the end of the decade, she opened an antique enterprise called The Colony Shop in the living room of her home on north Kenmore Avenue; later she continued her home business on 57th Street in Hyde Park. She was passionate about the antiques she collected and sold. Her taste was impeccable, her granddaughter Anne MacGregor says. About 1951, Elizabeth gave her remaining four oil paintings to her daughter for her home. In 1974, the Illinois State Museum in Springfield held a retrospective exhibit of
Elizabeth Shuff Taylor works. Curator R. J. Evans wrote in the exhibit catalog: The work of Elizabeth Shuff Taylor serves to prove that art was having an impact on life in America's heartland. The growth of art instruction at women's colleges, the traveling of students from outlying areas to Chicago, the starting of art institutes in cities like Peoria all point to the beginnings of a search for 'culture.' Today looking back on Elizabeth Taylor's work, we see it as typical of the art of the turn of the century in America. That it is a footnote in American Art history is true; that it is an expression of the
beginnings of the flow of talented artists from America's heartland into the arena of world artistic importance is perhaps still underappreciated.1 To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/ElizabethTaylor.
Julia Thecla (Born 1896, Delavan, Illinois Died 1973, Chicago, Illinois)
Julia Thecla Self-Portrait, 1936 Opaque watercolor, charcoal & metallics on gessoed cardboard, 18 in. x 24 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum
A shy young farm girl with a knack for art-making, Julia Thecla became one of Chicago's best-known fantasy painters from the
1930s through the 1950s. She lived alone for the most part, distancing herself as a means of self-protection. A chicken (which she died pink) and a rabbit were her studio companions. She painted small, intimate, jewellike, haunting images of girls and young women, and ghostly figures, animals, and mysterious landscapes that evoked childlike wonder. Julia was about five feet tall and wore her carrot-red hair in long curls. Her clothes had a turn-of-the-century look. Her friend David Porter said, "She appeared like the little girl she thought she was. She wore tiny vests, quilted skirts with tight waistbands and flaring hems, and high-button shoes."1 As good actors do, she assumed an identity, an alternative personality, dressing
suitably for her role.2 She read voraciously and could talk on many topics, yet her peculiar presence made a sustained conversation difficult.3 Not surprisingly, in her continuous search for herself, she appears frequently in her own paintings. She painted her striking self-portrait, shown here, in a magical realism style in 1936. She places herself close to us, consuming most of the painting surface, which gives the painting a sense of intimacy that is immediately dispelled by her transfixed gaze. Seemingly absorbed in her own dreams, she makes us feel as though we are intruding upon a private moment.4 Her works are personal visions applied to canvas and paper with technical skill and a colorist's sentiment, unaffected by chang-
ing styles or public opinion. She showed her paintings in Art Institute of Chicago exhibits, the Chicago Women's Art Salon, and Peggy Guggenheim's legendary exhibition of surrealists in New York City. During the Depression, she worked for the Federal Art Project. She painted into her seventies, until she began losing her eyesight. She died in a Chicago charity home in 1973.
Julia Thecla Four Swimmers, 1941
Oil on panel Harlan J. Berk Collection
Author Heather Becker observed recently that "artists such as Gertrude Abercrombie, Macena Barton, Raymond Breinin, Julio de Diego and Julia Thecla began to develop a kind of quirky, personal idiom that flourished in Chicago beginning in the 1930s. Like other artists employed on the projects, these Midwestern 'surrealists' modified their work to suit the prevailing norms of the projects. And although their most imaginative and idiosyncratic work was not done for the government, the support they received allowed them the time to begin to develop their personal vision of the world."5
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/JuliaThecla.
Alice Kellogg Tyler (Born 1862, Chicago, Illinois Died 1900, Chicago, Illinois)
Alice Kellogg Tyler House in a Landscape, 1896 Oil on canvas, 7 1/4 in. x 10 1/2 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection
When Alice Kellogg Tyler died of complications of diabetes in 1900 at the age
of 37, she was remembered as "the foremost woman artist in the West."1 Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft said she was "almost an ideal artistâ€”the soul of art personified. In her frank, zestful love of her work, of nature, of life, there was something rare and exalted."2 Social reformer Jane Addams delivered the eulogy at Alice's funeral. Alice had taught and given lectures at Hull-House since 1890 and painted portraits of Jane Addams and other women associated with the settlement house in both the academic style, which she had practiced in Paris while attending art school three years earlier, and the light and looser American impressionist style she applied upon her return.
It was in Paris that she painted The Mother (Alice's favorite subject), which she gave to Jane Addams. It hangs in the HullHouse Museum today. The painting had been selected for the1889 Paris Exposition, then an 1891 Society of American Artists exhibition in New York (Alice was the first Midwestern artist to be elected to the prestigious society), and finally the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. After her return from Paris, Alice was elected president of the Palette Club (originally the Bohemian Art Club), a women's art association that she and her friend Marie Lusk formed in Chicago in 1880. The club provided companionship and support. Members met on Saturdays in Marie's studio to sketch from a live model and critique each
otherâ€™s work. During the summer, they spent two weeks sketching in the country.3 They arranged exhibits at the Art Institute. During the depression of the 1890s, when artwork was difficult to sell, the club women decided to paint smaller pictures in order to make them more affordable. A satisfactory decision it turned out. Alice kept a Thought Book, a journal, in which she wrote in 1875, "Am I to go through life trying and not succeeding?"4 No indeed. She was ambitious and focused. She succeeded in orchestrating a professional art career for herself and in so doing became a role model for other women artists. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/AliceTyler.
Laura Van Pappelendam (Born 1883, Donnelson, Iowa Died 1974, Norwalk, California)
Laura Van Pappelendam Around a Birdhouse, circa 1943 Oil on board mounted on masonite, 35 in. x 42 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection
Look at these luscious paintings by Laura Van Pappelendam. She uses brilliant
colors and skillful brushwork to describe intimate scenesâ€”a door opening onto an interior balcony in a Mexico City home; an artist seated at her easel in the corner of a backyard; a row of adobe homes in Taos, New Mexico; and the painting shown here of the view outside her studio in her stepmother's home in Keokuk, Iowa, where Laura grew up. Laura once told an interviewer that she only painted what interested her. "My work is personal in that way," she said. "I never know what kind of subject will thrill me."1 She was a prolific painter. She entered 250 solo and group exhibits in Chicago and throughout the country, won awards, and sold her work to private and museum collections. Still, when she died in 1974, her niec-
es found nearly 1,000 paintings in her studio. She studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, receiving degrees from both schools. She worked with prominent impressionist Joaquin Sorolla in 1911, realist painter George Bellows in 1919 and Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in 1930. She experimented, folding fresh techniques into her practice as her early American impressionist style evolved into a vibrant form of modernism. She was hired as an art instructor at the Art Institute in 1909, the year she graduated, and held the position for 50 years. In the 1920s, she studied and taught at the University of Chicago as well, helping them form
an art department and working on a further degree, which she received in 1929. She took full advantage of summer and vacation breaks from teaching to concentrate on her painting. Everyone called her Laura Van or Miss Van. She was described as "a short, energetic Dutch woman who vibrated with enthusiasm—for the sights of nature, for the work of her students, for her own painting, and for the paintings of others. She smiled a great deal. … She had a painterly vision of the world, took student effort seriously, was alive to all that was going on and drove us toward Matisse and Picasso. … Her criticisms in class were kindly phrased but unrelenting. … I never met anyone who didn't
respect Laura Van and there were many who loved her."2
Laura Van Pappelendam Summer Afternoon, 1921 Oil With permission from Ben McLeod
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/LauraVanPappelen dam.
Anne Vaterlaus Untitled (Landscape) Watercolor Collection of Anne Vaterlaus
Anne grew up in Illinois and Michigan, surrounded by extended family year-round. With both her mother, Sylvia Vaterlaus, and
grandmother, Theodosia Breed, as practicing artists, drawing and painting were encouraged. She spent much of her childhood out of doors, immersed in the productive prairie of Illinois, or in the woodlands of northern Michigan. She trained as a landscape architect at the City College of New York, and then at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is currently directing a landscape architecture studio in Boston. Anne's projects have included campus planning as well as an archaeological park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and an open space development in Dubai. A community greening and open space design project in Granada, Nicaragua, which required a master plan and an integrated water management system
for the relocation of 90 families from an informal settlement is currently under construction. The photograph included here shows one of her recent designs: a rooftop garden in lower Manhattan, with an agriculture theme.
Anne Vaterlaus Sky Island at the Visionaire in Battery Park, New York City
More about Anne on her website at http://www.markkmorrison.com/index11.htm.
Eve Vaterlaus Bird in Flight Watercolor Collection of Anne Vaterlaus
Sylvia Vaterlausâ€™ daughter Eve is also an artist. She says, "I grew up in the Midwest, climbing trees, reading, swimming in Lake Michigan, and running free with a tribe of active children."1
Combining her interest in the outdoors and in making things, she went to the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied painting, and to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Switzerland. She traveled, lived in both New York City and Paris, while exhibiting her work, executing sculpture commissions, teaching, producing graphic and web design, and working with Ocean Earth, an artist-run research and think tank. While in Paris in 1978, her grandmother Theodosia joined her, and they traveled to Italy, looking at art. She now lives in what she describes as â€œa rural corner of the suburbs, very near New York City,â€? where she and her husband, Donald Sheridan, a printmak-
er/painter, â€œmake art, garden, keep thousands of bees and one dog.â€?2
Eve Vaterlaus Daphne & BooBoo Cast Glass & steel fountains New York Collection
More about Eve and her work on her website: http://www.evevaterlaus.com.
Sylvia Breed Vaterlaus (Born 1924- )
Sylvia Vaterlaus Woods, 1950 Watercolor on paper, 11 in. x 14 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus
In 1943, when World War II demanded the nation's attention, Sylvia Breed interrupted her studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts to enlist in the Navy. She
learned to be an aerographer, which means she observed, recorded, and analyzed meteorological and oceanographic data. Two years later, she returned to college, graduating in 1947. In Chicago in the late 1940s, Sylvia continued to study art, this time at the Institute of Design (now the Illinois Institute of Technology). She worked for a commercial art studio in the city at the same time. She spent a year in Switzerland to study at the Kunstgewerbeschule (University of the Arts) in Zurich, where she met her husband Heinz. Her first solo exhibit in Chicago was held in 1951 at the Cordon Club. In 1948 she exhibited with her grandmother Clara Park Breed and her mother Theodosia Breed.
For more than 50 years she continued to paint, exhibit, and teach art classes, first in Freeport, and later in Key West, Florida, and northern Michigan. In 1990, she decided to work with clay, a craft she had studied in Switzerland. She wanted to do the entire pottery process, even digging up the clay and testing it. She built her own centenary arch kiln and a studio in her backyard. Today, she still uses some of the pots she threw and fired, as do her family and friends. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/SylviaVaterlaus.
Bessie Potter Vonnoh (Born 1872, St. Louis, Missouri Died 1955, New York, New York)
Bessie Potter Vonnoh A Chance Acquaintance, circa late 19th-early 20th century Bronze, patinated, 12 in. x 16 in. x 9 in. Lent by Oregon Public Library
Sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh began her career in the early 1890s making what she called "Potterines": statuettes 12 to 16
inches tall of society women, friends and children dressed in contemporary fashions. Bessie's statuettes were, in a word, "feminine â€Ś delicate, fragile, intimate, domestic."1 They were becoming decorations for home or garden. She modeled the women's portraits in clay and had them cast in plaster, sometimes adding a hint of color to the completed work. She sold them for $25. Bessie was "supported by the female network of women's clubs interested in mentoring women artists in the 1890s."2 So successful were her Potterines that Bessie was able to support herself and her mother, who lived with her in Chicago, and begin having castings made in bronze. She dressed these figures in unstructured, flowing robes likely inspired by dancer Isadora Duncan, and de-
picted them reading, daydreaming, dancing a quadrille, watching a butterfly that had landed on arm or foot. Her touch was "exquisitely sensitive" and her results expressive, reflecting the influence of Auguste Rodin, whom she visited in Paris in 1895.3 One of her best-loved works, A Young Mother, which she created in the year she returned to Chicago, demonstrates the mood, theme, and everyday-life naturalism she achieved in her sculptures. The 14-inch bronze statue of a mother cradling her infant won a medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition. Bessie was the only woman to secure an award that year. She was the first artist in America to depict domestic themes in sculpture and did so with elegant fluidity.4 At a time when
sculptors (predominately male) sought commissions from parks and museums for grand monuments and large portrait works, Bessie created her statuettes, producing charming adornments for the home, suitably sized to stand on a living room chest, mantel, or end table. In 1909, she began to construct figures and fountains for the garden. One of her models that summer was Woodrow Wilson's daughter Jessie. Bessie and her husband, impressionist painter Robert Vonnoh (18581933), befriended the Wilson family in Old Lyme, Connecticut where the Vonnohs spent their summers as members of the town's impressionist art colony. Bessie exhibited her work in Chicago and at the Metropolitan Museum in New
York City, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and in Paris. She and Robert also showed their work together. In 1925, she created a fountain featuring a group of children for the Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary at Oyster Bay, Long Island, and 10 years later, constructed statues for the Frances Hodgson Burnett fountain in Central Park, a tribute to the author of The Secret Garden. Bessie was a pioneer among women artists. She received numerous awards and was a role model for future generations of artists. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/BessieVonnoh.
The White Rabbits Bessie Vonnoh was one of Lorado Taft's "White Rabbits," a nickname given to six women sculptors who assisted Taft in creating the large sculptures and decorations for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Most of the women were Taftâ€™s students at the Art Institute, as Bessie was. The name White Rabbits came about by accident. The story is that as the opening day of the exposition drew near, Taft needed help. All of the male sculptors were already employed and in those days, it was not customary to have women assist on sculptural projects of this kind. But Taft knew his students well, so he approached Daniel Burnham, the exposi-
tion's chief architect, and asked his permission to hire women assistants. Burnham, concerned for the outcome of the fair, told Taft he didn't care who he hiredâ€”he could hire white rabbits if they could get the work done. So Taft hired six students to work on the Horticultural Building sculptures. The women were paid $5 a day and $7.50 on weekends. They shared rooms at a nearby hotel. Bessie also produced an independent commission, the Personification of Art, for the Illinois State Building.
Nellie V. Walker (Born 1874, Red Oak, Iowa Died 1973, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Nellie Walker Portrait Figure of Lorado Taft, n.d. Plaster with overcoloring, 25 1/2 in. x 8 1/2 in. x 9 in.
Lent by Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
A sprite of a woman, Nellie Walker, not five feet tall, weighing barely 100 pounds, took to ladders and scaffolding to do what she liked best: create larger-than-lifeâ€“size statues and monuments. Her bronze representation of Chief Keokuk, over ten feet tall, overlooks the Mississippi River in Iowa. Her portrait statue of Iowa senator James Harlan is in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., and her dramatic Lincoln Trail Monument is near Lawrenceville, Illinois. It depicts Abraham Lincoln and his family entering Illinois in 1830. The bronze figure of Lincoln walks beside a limestone relief wall panel showing his family. These are her best-known works, but there are many others.
The first sculpture Nellie exhibited was a likeness of Abraham Lincoln she carved in a block of Bedford stone (an Indiana limestone favored by sculptors), which her father gave her when she was 17. Her father, a stonecutter, made tombstones and monuments in Moulton, Iowa. Nellie watched him work, learning techniques and, as time went on, assisting him. Her Lincoln bust was good enough to be shown in the Iowa Building of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In 1900, Nellie began studying with sculptor Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago. She became his assistant and later his collaborator, associations that would last for 20 years. She maintained workspace in Taft's Chicago studios and at the Eagle's
Nest art colony on the south of Rockford. You can see Taft's influence in Nellie's neoclassical style. "This is an ideal way to live," Nellie once told her niece. "No husband to please, no children to disturb one, good friends to converse with, who will give help when needed, yet all the privacy one could wish for."1 In the mid-1920s, Nellie toured the Midwest as a lecturer for the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, presenting a demonstration titled "A Sculptor's Studio." The studio was reproduced on stage and showed actual processes of modeling and chiseling. In the 1930s, Nellie refused to be part of the WPA's relief programs for unemployed artists. Her politics didn't allow it. She was a
staunch Republican, concerned about the expense of the Roosevelt administration programs and, for that matter, the continuation of the government.2 By 1948, no longer receiving commissions, she left Chicago, moving to Colorado Springs to be near her sister. She passed away in 1973.
Nellie Verne Walker My Son, 1915
John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Collection, Vanderpoel Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/NellieWalker.
Mary Hackney Wicker (Born 1868, Aurora, Illinois Died 1942, Providence, Rhode Island)
Mary Hackney Wicker Portrait of Arab Chief, circa 1920s Oil on canvas, 45 1/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Ms. Nancy Deborah Wicker
Many artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries felt as Mary Wicker did: that training in Paris was essential. In 1906, she and her young son, whom she called Bobs, travelled to Paris, the capital of the art world. Once there she enrolled seven-year-old Bobs in a private school in Passy, a wealthy area on the city's Right Bank, and began her training at the Julian Academie's women's studio, where students were charged twice as much as the academyâ€™s male students and received half the instruction.1 She also studied the Dutch masters in Bruges, Belgium, which improved her technique and increased the compositional vitality of her paintings. She worked in a "studio that was located in the former home of the noted Dutch artist, Peter Paul Rubens."2
Her husband, Charles, joined them several months later. Mary took photographs and sketched what caught her eye as she travelled in France, Holland, and then Spain and northern Africa. She collected enough ideas to fill a lifetime of painting. A chieftain held captive in a Moroccan square became the inspiration for her painting The Arab, shown here. Nearly 20 years after her return to the United States, she sketched a model at the Art Institute of Chicago school who reminded her of the chieftain. She brought out her earlier sketches and painted the dramatic portrait that some 70 years later was chosen by the Illinois Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts to represent
Illinois women artists in an exhibition held in the NMWA's Washington, DC, museum. In 1909, Charles was killed in a boating accident. Grieving deeply, Mary put down her brushes for nearly 10 years. Once her son was in college, she began to paint again, creating portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in the impressionist style nurtured by the year she had spent in Europe. Over time, her paintings became brighter and the texture more complex as she began using a palette knife instead of a brush. The 1920s were an extremely productive time for Mary. She showed her work in Chicago and on the East Coast, receiving two awards for the same painting (Interieur des Cloitres) in an Art Institute exhibit in 1924. She displayed work at the National
Academy of Design in New York in 1925 and entered the Woman's World's Fair in Chicago three years later. The following year, one of her paintings was selected for the American Federation of the Arts Traveling Exhibition. Reviews of her work, especially from art critic Eleanor Jewett of the Chicago Daily Tribune, who preferred traditional subject matter and style, were frequent. In 1932, Jewett covered an Association of Chicago Painters and Sculptors exhibit, taking special note of Mary's entry: "The development of Mary Wicker as a fine painter is one feature which strikes you at once. She shows a magnificent canvas portraying a hill town in Corsica, with castles and bridge and ro-
mance all fused together into a living and vital whole."3 Her granddaughter, Nancy Wicker, remembers Mary from the 1930s. "She was beautiful, reserved, elegant, and intensely and utterly involved in her work."4 Nancy says she continues to admire her grandmother's strength and the courage and determination she demonstrated throughout her lifeâ€”a role model for women today. To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MaryWicker.
Mary Agnes Yerkes (Born 1886, Chicago, Illinois Died 1989, San Mateo, California)
Mary Agnes Yerkes Pasadena, 1921 Oil on canvas panel, 23 1/2 in. x 29 1/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of Christopher G. Yerkes and Craig H. Yerkes
Mary Agnes Yerkes made good use of the Great Depression. No, she didn't work
for the WPA's Federal Arts Project, painting murals in public buildings or canvases to hang in schools and public libraries. Not Mary Agnes. In the early 1930s, she realized that having an art career was no longer something she could strive for. Hardly anyone was buying paintings in those days. Instead, she gave herself the freedom to paint what she wanted, as she saw it. On paper and canvas, she began putting down the varying landscapes of the Far Westâ€”a subject which engaged her for the rest of her life. Her grandnephew Craig Yerkes summed it up this way: "No longer did she have the academic walls, Chicago critics or peers to persuade her point of view. She had only the open splendor, dynamic power of
the West and the sheer willingness to travel over miles of newly developed, often unpaved roads, to get there."1 Mary Agnes left a legacy of artwork, photographs, and writings, which are now available for viewing online at a website developed by her grandnephews, and at museums in her home state of Illinois and in California, where she lived for 60 years. Born in Chicago in 1886, Mary Agnes grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, in a house designed by John S. Van Bergen, a draftsman for Frank Lloyd Wright. It included her painting studio on the second floor. She studied art history and decorative design at Rockford College before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and
the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts to study painting. Her pastels and oil paintings were selected for the annual exhibitions at the Art Institute from 1912 through 1915. She continued to study, teach, and paint in Chicago until she married Archie Yerkes, a naval officer in 1917 and began the transient life of the military, which moved them to the East Coast and then west. By the 1930s, they had settled permanently in San Mateo, California. For the next 15 years, Mary Agnes and Archie toured the national parks in New Mexico and Arizona, and from California north to Oregon and Washington in their 1920s Buick. Their daughter Mary travelled with them until her death at 15 in 1935.
Wherever they went, Mary Agnes painted and took photographs. Archie maintained detailed travelogues with precise drawings of natural forms. Following his death in 1945, it took Mary Agnes a number of years to begin traveling and painting again. Finally she did, this time with another adventurer, Albert Cobb. When she died at 103, there were 150 paintings hanging in her homeâ€”her memories.
Mary Agnes Yerkes painting at Carmel, California Craig Yerkes Collection
To learn more about this artist, please go to her artist page on our website at http://iwa.bradley.edu/artists/MaryYerkes.
Exhibition Checklist Gertrude Abercrombie Self-Portrait in White Beret, 1935 Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 in. x 35 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection Jean Crawford Adams Looking West from the Fine Arts Building, circa 1933 Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 in. x 38 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection Rifka Angel Art Appreciation Class, 1933 Oil on canvas, 33 1/4 in. x 39 1/2 in. Lent by Bernie Friedman Hester Handley Ayers Zapotec Indian Woman, 1964 Conte crayon on paper, 25 1/2 in. x 20 1/4 in. Lent by McLean County Arts Center Frances Badger Treasure Island I and II, 1935-1938 Opaque watercolor on paper, 17 1/2 in. x 43 3/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of the Artist
Martha Susan Baker Self-Portrait, 1911 Oil on canvas, 44 in. x 32 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection Macena Barton Jimmy Vail, 1935 Oil on canvas, 21 in. x 23 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection Enella Benedict Edith, circa 1895 Oil, 28 1/8 in. x 32 1/8 in. Courtesy of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Bernece Berkman Untitled (Man in the City), 1943 Oil on canvas, 20 in. x 24 in. Lent by Bernard Friedman Jane Smith Bernhardt Hiromu Morishita, 2003 Ink on board, 24 in. x 19 1/2 in. Lent by Jane Smith Bernhardt
Kathleen Blackshear Black Woman with Barbed Wire, 1939 Oil, 18 1/4 in. x 20 1/4 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection Harriet Blackstone Man with a Cane/John E. Miller, circa 1910-1912 Oil on canvas, 37 1/2 in. x 27 1/4 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago Dora Bourscheidt Untitled (Spring Landscape), 1921 Oil on linen, 11 1/4 in. x 13 7/8 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/ Anonymous Gift 1985.19.7 Theodosia Breed Millicent, circa 1915 Oil on canvas, 38 in. x 30 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus Clara Brian Unit Meeting on Chickens, circa 1918 Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History
Clara Brian "These are why all the things we do are worthwhile." circa 1920 Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History Clara Brian Kitchen Sink Too Low, circa 1920 Emulsion on paper, 21 1/4 in. x 25 1/4 in. Image courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History Fritzi Brod Katia, 1935 Oil on fiberboard, 34 in. x 27 1/2 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago Almira Burnham Pink and White Roses, circa 1905 Oil, 29 1/2 in. x 41 in. Courtesy McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington, Illinois Anita Willets Burnham CafĂŠ Tabac, 1923 Ink on paper, 19 1/2 in. x 24 1/4 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society
Anita Willets Burnham The Deep South Mississippi, circa 1935 Ink on paper, 20 in. x 24 1/4 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society Carol-Lou Burnham Stalled, 1938 Watercolor on paper, 23 1/2 in. x 29 1/2 in. Lent by Winnetka Historical Society Margaret Goss Burroughs Girl with Doll at "Nogales" 1965 Ink on paper Lent by Dan Parker Eleanor Coen Untitled (Boy with Swing), 1944 Ink on paper, 23 in. x 16 in. Courtesy of the Estate of Eleanor Coen and Corbett vs. Dempsey Maude Parmley Craig Miss Georgia Goes to Church, circa 1935 Tempera on paper From the Collection of the University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Cecil Clark Davis Mr. Eames MacVeagh, circa 1919 Oil on canvas, 40 in. x 34 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mr. Eames MacVeagh Carol Dearborn Loki's Shell, 2001 Pastel on paper, 25 1/2 in. x 19 in. Lent by Carol Dearborn Pauline Dohn Pear Time, circa 1895 Oil on canvas, 29 3/8 in. x 21 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection Pauline Dohn A Village Belle, 1899 Oil on canvas, 29 in. x 20 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection Cornelia Strong Fassett Portrait of William Butler Ogden, c. 1870 Oil, 6 in. x 6 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mrs. Donald F. McPherson
Agnes Howell Ferguson Portrait of John Nolf, 1933 Oil, acrylic, watercolor, 22 in. x 25 in. Lent by Loveland Community House and Museum Ruth Van Sickle Ford The Little Traveler, circa 1930s Oil, 37 in. x 39 in. Lent by Aurora Public Library Frances Foy Portrait of Frances Strain, 1932 Oil on board, 31 1/2 in. x 35 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection Rowena Fry Great Lakes Art Class, circa 1941-45 Oil on canvas, 24 in. x 30 in. Lent by Clifford Law Offices, Ken Oakes Photography Maurine Montgomery Gibbs Dancer, 1936-1938 Bronze, 17 in. x 8 in. x 3 1/2 in. Lent by Ramona Gibbs Walter Burley Griffin, architect; Marion Mahony Griffin, delineator
Hurd Comstock House No. 1, Evanston, Illinois, 1911-1912 Pen and black ink over graphite on drafting linen Sheet: 41 他 x 20 7/8 in.; image: 34 x 19 5/8 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Marion Mahony Griffin, 1985.1.96 Lillian Hall Moholy-Nagy Style Construction, n.d. Watercolor construction on paper, 14 1/2 in. x 19 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection Lucie Hartrath The Creek, circa 1917 Oil on canvas, 40 3/4 in. x 40 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection Grace Hall Hemingway Southwestern Landscape with Tree, circa 1928 Oil on board, 20 1/2 in. x 17 3/4 in. Lent by The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park Natalie Smith Henry White Doves, 1931 Oil, 25 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Magda Heuermann Self-Portrait, 1919 Egg tempra on ivory, 16 in. x 14 in. (unframed 3.25 x 2.75) Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of the Artist Belle Emerson Keith Expectations, 1892 Oil on canvas, 26 in. x 30 1/2 in. Collection of Rockford Art Museum, Illinois, Gift of Mrs. Edward O. Lathrop Amy Kirkpatrick Portrait of Cornwall Kirkpatrick, undated Charcoal on paper, 31 in. x 26 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of Margaret Kirkpatrick Dulah Evans Krehbiel Mountains of the Blue Moon, 1934 Oil on canvas, 29 in. x 30 in. Lent by the Krehbiel Corporation Evelyn Beatrice Longman Winged Victory, 1914 Bronze, 14 1/2 in. x 6 in. x 6 in. Lent by the Oregon Public Library
Isobel Steele MacKinnon Untitled (Female Portrait), circa 1927 Oil, pastel on paper, 16 1/4 in. x 13 in. Courtesy of the Estate of Isobel Steele MacKinnon and Corbett vs. Dempsey Pauline Palmer Woman in a Garden, circa 1910 Oil on canvas, 35 in. x 42 1/2 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/ Gift of Deborah Boden 1986.33 Clara Cahill Park Darjeeling Portrait, circa 1935 Pastel, 20 in. x 14 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus Grace Ravlin Courtyard Fountain, Cuernavaca, Mexico, circa 1925 Oil on canvas, 34 in. x 30 in. Lent by Rebekah and Ben Kohli Josephine Reichmann Fishing Boats, circa 1928
Oil on canvas, 41 1/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum Garada Clark Riley North Shore Landscape, circa 1935 Oil on canvas, 33 in. x 39 in. Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences/ Gift of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Marshall 2008.23 Susan Hely St. John John Stephen Wright, c. 1865-1870 Oil on canvas, 36 in. x 31 3/4 in. Chicago History Museum/ Gift of Mr. Augustine Washington Wright Flora Schofield Julia Thecla Painting from a Model, circa 1948 Opaque watercolor on paper, 29 in. x 23 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of Shreve Badger Schofield Laura Slobe Baseball Player, circa 1935 Plaster, 41 in. x 16 in. x 19 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Courtesy of the Fine Art Program, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration.
Commissioned through the New Deal art projects. Ann Burnham Smith Sailboats in San Francisco Harbor, 1947 Watercolor on paper, 24 1/2 in. x 21 3/4 in. Lent by Jane Smith Bernhardt Ethel Spears Oak Street Beach at Night, circa 1940 Watercolor, gouache on paper, 25 in. x 33 1/8 in. Collection of the Union League Club of Chicago Ethel Spears Class at the Art Institute, circa 1930 Watercolor on paper, 18 in. x 21 3/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of Gerald Adelmann Anna L. Stacey Bon Voyage, 1907 Oil on canvas, 20 in. x 18 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection Frances Strain The Conversation, 1929 Oil on board, 24 in. x 20 in. Harlan J. Berk Collection
Elizabeth Shuff Taylor Reindeer, circa 1919 Ink on paper, 12 in. x 13 in. Lent by Anne MacGregor, the artist's granddaughter Elizabeth Shuff Taylor Irma Taylor, circa 1906 Oil on paper, 4 1/8 in. x 3 5/8 in. Lent by Elizabeth Preston Julia Thecla Self-Portrait, 1936 Opaque watercolor, charcoal & metallics on gessoed cardboard, 18 in. x 24 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum Alice Kellogg Tyler House in a Landscape, 1896 Oil on canvas, 7 1/4 in. x 10 1/2 in. The M. Christine Schwartz Collection Laura Van Pappelendam Around a Birdhouse, circa 1943 Oil on board mounted on masonite, 35 in. x 42 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Powell and Barbara Bridges Collection
Anne Vaterlaus Untitled (Landscape) Watercolor Collection of Anne Vaterlaus Eve Vaterlaus Bird in Flight Watercolor Collection of Anne Vaterlaus Sylvia Vaterlaus Woods, 1950 Watercolor on paper, 11 in. x 14 in. Lent by Sylvia Vaterlaus Bessie Potter Vonnoh A Chance Acquaintance circa late 19th-early 20th century Bronze, patinated, 12 in. x 16 in. x 9 in. Lent by Oregon Public Library Nellie Walker Portrait Figure of Lorado Taft, n.d. Plaster with overcoloring, 25 1/2 in. x 8 1/2 in. x 9 in. Lent by Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Mary Hackney Wicker Portrait of Arab Chief, circa 1920s Oil on canvas, 45 1/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. Chicago History Museum/Gift of Ms. Nancy Deborah Wicker Mary Agnes Yerkes Pasadena, 1921 Oil on canvas panel, 23 1/2 in. x 29 1/4 in. Collection of the Illinois State Museum/ Gift of Christopher G. Yerkes and Craig H. Yerkes
Notes Gertrude Abercrombie 1. Gertrude Abercrombie, Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the University of Illinois (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1951), 157, quoted in Susan Weininger, Gertrude Abercrombie (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1991), 17. 2. Ibid., 12. 3. Ibid. 4. Susan Weininger, Gertrude Abercrombie and Friends (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1983), n.p. 5. Ibid. 6. Gertrude Abercrombie, Abercrombie Papers, Archives of American Art, written on a scrap of paper, quoted in Susan
Weininger, Gertrude Abercrombie and Friends (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1991), n.p. Jean Crawford Adams 1. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), Rifka Angel 1. Ita Aber, "Rifka Angel," Woman's Art Journal, 7, no. 2 (Autumn, 1986–Winter, 1987): 32–35. 2. Ibid., 32. 3. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago, 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 39. 4. Aber, 33. Hester Merwin Handley Ayers
1. "Hester Merwin Ayers Has `OneMan` Show at U of I," The Pantagraph, July 5, 1950. Frances Badger 1. Maura Rogan, â€œPauline Dohn Rudolph: Winnetkan and National Artist,â€? Winnetka Historical Society Gazette, Fall/Winter, 2005. 2. Louise Dunn Yochim, Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists (Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979), 109. 3. Mary Lackritz Gray, A Guide to Chicago's Murals (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001), 312. Martha Susan Baker
1. The Work of Martha S. Baker, published in conjunction with the exhibition “A Memorial Exhibition of Works of the Late Martha S. Baker” at the Art Institute of Chicago, October 1 to 23, 1912. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1912), n.p. Macena Barton 1. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago, 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 45. 2. Susan Weininger, "Macena Barton," Chicago Modern 1893–1945, Pursuit of the New, ed. Elizabeth Kennedy (Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art and Terra Foundation for the Arts, 2002), 90. 3. C. J. Bulliet, "Artists of Chicago, Past and Present: No. 12 Macena Barton," Chicago Daily News, May 13, 1935, quoted in
Susan Weininger, "Macena Barton," Chicago Modern 1893â€“1945, Pursuit of the New, 89. Enella Benedict 1. Peggy Glowacki, "Bringing Art to Life: The Practice of Art at Hull-House," Pots of Promise: Mexicans and Pottery at Hull-House, 1920â€“40, eds. Cheryl R. Ganz and Margaret Strobel (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 6. 2. Ibid., 22. 3. Ibid., 12. 4. Ibid., 6. 5. "Creating and Appreciating the Visual Arts at Hull-House," Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963,
http://tigger.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/urban exp/main.cgi?file=img/show_image_in_gall ery.ptt&image=172&gallery=10. Bernece Berkman 1. Fine Art Dealers Association, “Bernece Berkman-Hunter,” at http://www.fada.com/browse_by_artist.html ?gallery_no=54&artist=5374&bio=1. 2. Susan Weininger, The "New Woman" in Chicago, 1910–1945: Paintings from Illinois Collections (Rockford, IL: Rockford College, 1993), n.p. Jane Smith Bernhardt 1. Jane Smith Bernhardt Biography, Vertical files, IWA Project. 2. Ibid.
3. J. C. Lockwood, “Beverly artist draws on the horrors of Hiroshima for a fiery, chaotic take on survivors’ stories,” Merrimack River Current, February 20, 2004. Kathleen Blackshear 1. Laura Hensley, "Legacy of a Navasota Native," The Bryan-College Station Eagle, April 24, 2003, n.p. 2. Carole Tormollan, "Blackshear, Kathleen," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 85.
Harriet Blackstone 1. F. L. H. P., "Harriet Blackstone," American Magazine of Art, 9, no. 2 (December 1917): 402. 2. Paul A. F. Walter, "Art in War Service," Art and Archaeology, 7 (November– December, 1918), 397. 3. “Harriet Blackstone,” Smithsonian Archives, "Year October 1920–October 1921," microfiche. Dora Bourscheidt 1. Myrtis Evans, "The Parade of Peoria Art, Early Women Artists of Peoria," Journal-Transcript, March 29, 1942. Peoria Public Library vertical files. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid.
Theodosia Breed 1. Sylvia Breed Vaterlaus and Donald Breed, Theodosia Park Breed, Oct 6, 2008. 2. Sylvia Vaterlaus, letter to Donald Breed, June 2008. Clara Brian 1. Margaret Esposito, Places of Pride: The Work and Photography of Clara R. Brian (Bloomington, IL: McLean County Historical Society, 1989), 9. 2. Ibid., 17. 3. Rhondal McKinney, Clara Brian: Home Bureau Photographs, 1919–1926, catalog of the exhibition “Clara Brian: Home Bureau Photographs, 1919–1926,” shown at the Illinois Women’s History Con-
ference, Urbana, March 26â€“March 27, 1993, 5. 4. Ibid., 8. Fritzi Brod 1. Eden Juron Pearlman, " Brod, Fritzi Schermer," Women Building Chicago 1790â€“ 1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 122. 2. Bonnie McLaughlin, "On Exhibit: 'New Women' of Prewar Chicago," Chicago Reader, February 17, 1994. Almira Sarah Burnham 1. Tona Schenck, "For the Front Parlor: The Paintings of Mrs. A. S. Burnham"
(Bloomington, IL: McLean County Historical Society, 1987), n.p. 2. Ibid. Anita Willets Burnham 1. Robyn DeKoven Grossberg, Anita Willets Burnham," Winnetka Historical Society Gazette, June, 1999, n.p. 2. "Log House," Anita Willets-Burnham, 1880-1957, American Impressionist, Author, Lecturer, at http://anitawilletsburnham.com/house.
3. Anita Willets Burnham, Round the World on a Penny (New York: Covici Friede Publishers, 1937), 108. 4. Winnetka Historical Society, "Anita Willets Burnham (1882â€“1958)."
Carol-Lou Burnham 1. Palette of Our Past: Artists in Winnetka (Winnetka, IL: Winnetka History Museum, 2010), n.p. 2. â€œAbroad with a Paint Box and a Family of Six,â€? at http://anitawilletsburnham.com/trip1/. 3. Eleanor Jewett, "Christmas Art Exhibits Now on View Here," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 13, 1936, F6. 4. Carol-Lou Burnham, "Fruit Sellers," Anita Willets Burnham, Round the World on a Penny (New York: Covici Friede Publishers, 1937), 78. Ann Smith Burnham 1. Ann Burnham, "Book Stalls of Paris," Anita Willets Burnham, Round the World on
a Penny (New York: Covici Friede Publishers, 1937), 223. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs 1. "Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs Gallery at South Shore Cultural Center," Go Shorty, http://www.goshorty.net/dr-margaret-tburroughs-gallery-at-south-shore-culturalcenter. 2. Margaret Goss Burroughs, "Chicago's South Side Community Art Center: A Personal Recollection," Art in Action: American Art Centers and the New Deal, ed. John Franklin White (John Franklin White, 1987), 131.
Eleanor Coen 1. Noah Kahn, "Max Kahn, My Father," at http://www.maxkahn.com/biography.html. 2. John Corbett, "Max Kahn & Eleanor, contemplating a couple of rollers." Max Kahn & Eleanor Coen: Contemplating a Couple of Rollers, Major Print Works 19361960. (Chicago: Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2006), 3. 3. Frank Holland, "Eleanor Coen Shows Lithograph Selection," World of Art, Chicago Sun, June 23, 1946, 23. 4. John Corbett, "Max Kahn & Eleanor, contemplating a couple of rollers." Max Kahn & Eleanor Coen: Contemplating a Couple of Rollers, Major Print Works 19361960. (Chicago: Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2006), 8.
5. Edith Weigle, " Meet Eleanor Coen of City's Paintingest Family,” The Wonderful World of Art, Chicago Daily Tribune, March 31, 1957, F2. 6. Jim Dempsey, "Eleanor Coen – sweet inspiration." Max Kahn & Eleanor Coen: Contemplating a Couple of Rollers, Major Print Works 1936-1960. (Chicago: Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2006), 19. Cecil Clark Davis 1. David B. Boyce, Cecil Clark Davis: A Woman Ahead of Her Time (New Bedford, MA: New Bedford Art Museum, 2002), published in conjunction with the exhibition “Cecil Clark Davis: A Woman Ahead of Her Time” shown at the New Bedford Art Museum.
2. Eleanor Jewett, "Arts Club Show Opens," Chicago Daily Tribune, April 20, 1930. 3. Cecil Clark Davis, Diary Entry, November 6, 1911. Written on the label next to her painting at the Marion Art Center, Marion, Massachusetts. Carol Dearborn 1. "Artist Statement." Carol Dearborn. IWA vertical file. 2. Ibid. 3. â€œCarol Dearborn,â€? at http://www.caroldearborn.com/pages/about.html
Pauline A. Dohn 1. "A Tribute by a Winnetka Citizen to the Memory of Mrs. Franklin Rudolph," Winnetka Talk, July 5, 1934, 23. Cornelia Strong Fassett 1. Marianne Berger Woods, "Fassett, Cornelia Adele Strong,"Women Building Chicago 1790â€“1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 259. 2. William H. Gerdts. "Illinois" The South and the Midwest. Art Across America, two centuries of regional painting, 17101920 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1990), 386. 3. The Inter-State Exposition Souvenir; (Chicago: Van Arsdale & Massie, 1873),70.
4. Ibid, Woods. 5. Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein. American Women Artists from Early Times to the Present. (Avon Books, 1986). Agnes Howell Ferguson 1. Duane Paulsen, "John Nolf 1871– 1950," Phidian Art Club 1890–2009 (Dixon, IL: Colleen and Bob Logsdon and Nancy Mayfield, 2009), n.p. 2. Duane Paulsen, "Agnes (Howell) Ferguson 1895–1985," Phidian Art Club 1890– 2009 (Dixon, IL: Colleen and Bob Logsdon and Nancy Mayfield, 2009), n.p. 3. Florence Guggenheim, "Art Out West," New York Times, quoted in Duane Paulsen, "Agnes (Howell) Ferguson 1895– 1985,” Phidian Art Club 1890–2009, n.p.
4. John A. Lindhorst, "Agnes Ferguson: Portrait of an Artist," quoted in Duane Paulsen, "Agnes (Howell) Ferguson 1895– 1985,” Phidian Art Club 1890–2009, n.p. Ruth Van Sickle Ford 1. Pat Thornton, "Portrait of an Artist," Aurora Beacon-News, July 12, 1969. 2. Ruth Van Sickle Ford, Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, http://www.foxvalleyarts.org/ford.htm.
3. Thornton. 4. Nancy Smith Hopp, Warm Light, Cool Shadows: The Life and Art of Ruth Van Sickle Ford (Aurora, IL: Pen Works Press, 2011), 71.
5. Charles S. Ward, "Dream Comes True as AU Hosts Ford Retrospective," Aurora Beacon-News, October 17, 1986. 6. Van Sickle Ford, http://www.foxvalleyarts.org/ford.htm. Frances Foy 1. C. J. Bulliet, "Artists of Chicago, Past and Present: No. 2 Frances Foy," Chicago Daily News, n.d., 1935, 12. 2. Susan Weininger, "Strain, Frances," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 246. 3. Barbara Melosh, "Foy, Frances," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 258. 4. Phyllis Ford, "Art, Marriage Double Ties for North Side Pair: Free Lance Artists," Chicago Tribune, October 10, 1943, GWC. 5. J. Z. Jacobson, "Frances Foy," Art of Today, Chicago, 1933. (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 141. 6. Edward Barry, "Old Town Remembers Frances Foy; Holds Exhibition of Her Paintings," Chicago Tribune, January 12, 1964, G2. 7. Susan Weininger, Chicago Painting, 1895 to 1945, The Bridges Collection (Springfield: University of Illinois Press with the Illinois State Museum, 2004), 156.
Rowena Fry 1. Louise Dunn Yochim, Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists (Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979), 132. 2. Obituary of Rowena Fry, Chicago Daily Tribune, 1961, quoted in "Rowena Fry, 90, An Award-winning Artist," Chicago Tribune, November 15, 1990. 3. Yochim, 132. 4. Ibid., 236. 5. Ibid., 132. Maurine Montgomery Gibbs 1. Theo Jean Kenyon, "Carving perfection: Life led a Peoria artist to Art Institute, Rome and beyond," Peoria Journal Star, August 8, 1999, C1.
2. Maurine Montgomery Gibbs, quoted in a Seattle, WA, newspaper, March 14, 1943, per Ramona Gibbs, email message to author, July 2, 2011. 3. Ramona Gibbs, email message to author, July 27, 2011. 4. Ibid., Kenyon. 5. Maurine Montgomery Gibbsâ€™s comments at the installation of The Letter, Fall, 1942, per Jim Wright author of "The Letter," Homewood Historical Society Newsletter, 2009, 2. Marion Mahony Griffin 1. Fred A. Bernstein, "Rediscovering a Heroine of Chicago Architecture," Art & Design, New York Times, January 1, 2008, n.p.
http://fredbernstein.com/articles/display.asp? id=253 2. Ibid., n.p. 3. Major Artists from the Midwest, catalog of the exhibition "Major Artists from the Midwest," shown at the Anne Lloyd Gallery, Madden Arts Center, Decatur, IL, 2008, 10. Lillian E. Hall 1. Richard G. Tansy and Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art through the Ages, II, Renaissance and Modern Art (Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996), need page number. 2. Louise Dunn Yochim, Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists (Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979), 141.
Lucie Hartrath 1. "Minnie Bacon Stevenson, a Painter of the Indian Hill Country," American Magazine of Art, August 1921, 12, 278. 2. Ibid., 279. 3. "In the Art Studios," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 15, 1895, 44. 4. Stevenson, 279. Grace Hall Hemingway 1. Bernice Kert, The Hemingway Women, Those Who Loved Himâ€”The Wives and Others (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1983), 34. 2. Ibid., 118. 3. Ibid., 231.
4. Margaret Moore Booker, "Tales of Old Nantucket: Grace Hall Hemingway," Hemingway Review, Spring, 1999. Natalie Smith Henry 1. Gayle M. Seymour, "Natalie Smith Henry (1907â€“1992)," The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/ency clopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3441. 2. Louise Dunn Yochim, Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists (Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979), 147. Magda Heuermann 1. Melvyn A. Skvurla, "Magda Heuermann Miniatures on Exhibit at ITT," Technology News, May 11, 1962, 7.
2. "Miniature by Chicago Women," Chicago Daily Tribune, August 9, 1908, E8. 3. "Springdale, Arkansas, WPA Post Office Mural Information and Background," Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, June, 2010, 2. Belle Emerson Keith 1. Sarah Stewart, "Belle Emerson Keith,” Illinois Women Artists Project website, http://iwa.bradley.edu/node/796. 2. John Gordon, “Memorial Service for Belle Emerson Keith,” Country Day School, Hinchcliff Hall, June 6, 1950, quoted in Sarah Stewart, “Belle Emerson Keith,” Illinois Women Artists Project website, http://iwa.bradley.edu/node/796.
Amy Kirkpatrick 1. Mary Esther Ayers, The Talk, Anna, Illinois, June 28, 1889, quoted in Art in Southern Illinois, (1865â€“1914) (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society, 1943), 34. 2. Ayers, 34. 3. Carita Alden, personal testimony, April 10, 1942, quoted in Ayers, 34. 4. Ayers, 9. 5. Ibid., 34. Dulah Evans Krehbiel 1. Wendy Greenhouse, "Dulah Evans Krehbiel: A Brief Biography," 2010, http://iwa.bradley.edu/node/832. 2. Ibid. Evelyn Beatrice Longman
1. Wilson H. Faude, Hidden History of Connecticut (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2010), 16. 2. Ellen Wiley Todd, "Remembering the Unknowns: The Longman Memorial and the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire," American Art, 23, no. 3, (2009): 60â€“81, quoted in Nicole Semenchuk, An American Sculptor: Evelyn Beatrice Longman, Smithsonian Collections Blog, March 16, 2010, at http://sisiris.blogspot.com/2010/03/americansculptor-evelyn-beatrice.html. 3. "Evelyn Beatrice Longman," The Permanent Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, at http://www.nmwa.org/collection/profile.asp ?LinkID=550. 4. Todd.
Isobel Steele MacKinnon 1. John Corbett interviewed by Alison Cuddy, "The Art of Isobel Steele MacKinnon," Eight-Forty-Eight, Chicago Public Radio, April 29, 2008. 2. John Corbett, "ISM: a Modernist Awakening." Isobel Steele MacKinnon, Weimar Portraits, Riviera Landscapes, A Chicagoan in Hofmann's Studio 1925-1929. (Chicago: Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2008), 3. Pauline Palmer 1. "Pauline Palmer," Arts for America Vol. 8 (January, 1899), 217â€“218. 2. "Pauline Lennards Palmer," Terra Foundation for American Art, n.d., http://collections.terraamericanart.org/view/peop
le/asitem/items$0040null:304/0;jsessionid=98D 99D66CC8DF199E4735ECA545C0636?t:state:f low=8d7f6eea-c976-43fb-9699-8292e3913b26.
Clara Cahill Park 1. E. G. Holden, "Art," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 20, 1903. 2. Eleanor Jewett, “Illinois Artists’ Group Uncovers Talent of Many,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 23, 1935. Grace Ravlin 1. Alta Ann Parkins Morris, "The Life and Letters of an American Artist, Grace Ravlin: A Woman Who Dared," http://www.graceravlin.com. 2. Ibid.
3. Alta Ann Parkins Morris, "Preliminary Sketch for Courtyard Fountain, Cuernavaca, Mexico," September, 2011, IWA Files. Josephine Lemos Reichmann 1. Eleanor Jewett, "Reichmann Paintings Mingle Sanity, Art with Modernism," Chicago Tribune, April 8, 1930, 39. 2. Nancy Lorance, "Mrs. Increase Robinson, 1885â€“1981," 2006, http://www.wpamurals.com/robinson.htm. Garada Clark Riley 1. Courtesy of Kamp Gallery, Winnetka, IL. Susan Hely St. John
1. "Art Gallery,â€? Chicago Daily Tribune, November 21, 1863, 4. 2. "Opera House Fire," Chicago Daily Tribune, February 4, 1870, 4. Flora Schofield 1. AIA Guide to Chicago, ed. Alice Sinkevitch, 2nd ed. (San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2004), 132. 2. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 115. Laura Slobe 1. Eleanor Jewett, "Women's Salon Offers Another Fine Exhibition," Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 16, 1938, 18.
2. Eleanor Jewett, "Mural Designs Highly Praised by Art Critic," Chicago Daily Tribune, Mar 8, 1940, 26. Ethel Spears 1. C. J. Bulliet, "Ethel Spears," Artists of Chicago–Past and Present, Chicago Daily News, May 1, 1937. 2. Ethel Spears (1903–1974): Paintings from the 1920s and 1930s (Chicago: Thomas McCormick Gallery, n.d.), brochure to accompany “Ethel Spears (1903–1974): Painting from the 1920s and 1930s, an Online Exhibition” (Thomas McCormick Gallery, n.d.), http://www.wpamurals.com/SpearsEt.pdf. 3. Carole Tormollan, "Spears, Ethel," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A
Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 826. 4. Ibid., 827. Anna Lee Stacey 1. "Chicago Women Artists and Their Studios," Chicago Daily Tribune, April 4, 1909, G6. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. Frances Strain 1. Harold Haydon, Frances Strain Biesel: 1898â€“1962 Oil Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, catalog for the exhibition "Frances Strain Biesel: 1898â€“1962 Oil Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings," shown at
the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 1963. 2. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 126. 3. Susan Weininger, "Strain, Frances," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 855. 4. Ibid., Haydon. Elizabeth Shuff Taylor 1. R. J. Evans, Turn of the Century Art— Paintings, Pastels, Watercolors by Elizabeth Shuff Taylor 1881–1969, catalog of the exhibition "Turn of the Century Art— Paintings, Pastels, Watercolors by Elizabeth Shuff Taylor 1881–1969," shown at the Illi-
nois State Museum, Springfield, December 15, 1973–January 20, 1974, n.p. Julia Thecla 1. David Porter, A Valentine for Julia (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1984), 29, catalog for the exhibition "Julia Thecla 1896–1973," Maureen A. McKenna, shown at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, 1984. 2. Joanna Gardner-Huggett, interview by Ruth Lopez, Time Out Chicago, 82, September 21–27, 2006. 3. Katherine Kuh, Tea with Julia (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1984), 28, catalog for the exhibition "Julia Thecla 1896–1973," Maureen A. McKenna, shown
at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, 1984. 4. Margaret McKenna, "Julia Thecla" (Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 1984), 3, catalog for the exhibition "Julia Thecla 1896–1973," Maureen A. McKenna, shown at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, 1984. 5. Heather Becker, Art for the People: The Rediscovery and Preservation of Progressive and WPA-Era Murals in the Chicago Public Schools, 1904–1943. (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2002), 91. Alice Kellogg Tyler 1. "Death List of a Day; Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler," New York Times, February 16, 1900.
2. Joanne Wiemers Bowie, "Alice DeWolf Kellogg Tyler," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 470. 3. Ibid, 468. 4. Debra A. Corcoran, "Heart of the Academy: Alice Kellogg Tyler (c. 18621900), Chicago Art Institute Fine Arts Instructor," American Educational History Journal, Vol. 20 (2002): 118. Laura Van Pappelendam 1. J. Z. Jacobson, Art of Today: Chicago 1933 (Chicago: L. M. Stein, 1932), 130. 2. Roger Gilmore, "A Recollection, 1926–1943," ed. Roger Gilmore, Over a Century, a History of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1866–1981 (Chicago:
The School of the Art Institute, 1982), 20â€“ 21. Eve Vaterlaus 1. Eve Vaterlaus, letter to author, May 26, 2011. 2. Ibid. Bessie Potter Vonnoh 1. Julie Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Sculptor of Women (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008), 223. 2. Amy C. Scheidhorst, "Vonnoh, Bessie Potter," Women Building Chicago 1790â€“ 1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 919. 3. Aronson, 2.
4. Ibid. Nellie V. Walker 1. Louise Rosenfield Noun, "Walker, Nellie Verne," Women Building Chicago 1790–1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 928. 2. Ibid. Mary Hackney Wicker 1. Rena Church, “The Paintings of Mary Hackney Wicker, Midwestern Impressionist 1868–1942” (Aurora, IL: Aurora Public Art Commission, 2006), at http://www.aurorail.org/community_services/publicarts/exhibit details.php?exDateID=29.
2. Judi Lox Mansbach, "Wicker, Mary Hackney," Women Building Chicago 1790â€“ 1990: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Rima Schultz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 967. 3. Eleanor Jewett, "Good Painting Marks Display of Art Group: Painters and Sculptors Hold Exhibition," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 2, 1932. 4. Nancy Wicker, personal conversation with author, August 2010. Mary Agnes Yerkes 1. Craig Yerkes, "Travelogues and a Family of Three," at http://web.me.com/sagebrushers3/Mary_Ag nes_Yerkes/Welcome.html.
A Final Note For any community to be exposed to the arts, let alone embrace them, requires the focused, tireless efforts of art activists who pass the torch from one generation to the next. I am grateful to the women artists who carried that torch in Illinois. I am grateful to the collaborators around the state and throughout the country who offer information, guidance and support to the Illinois Women Artists Project. -- Channy Lyons
Published on May 10, 2012
Celebrating Illinois Women Artists 1840 to 1940 Biographical Sketches by Channy LyonsIllinois Women Artists Project For the exhibition Skirt...