A Zest for Life and Paint: The Art of Anna E. Keener

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Anna Elizabeth Keener, ca.1921; Anna E. Keener Papers, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas; box 1, folder 11


The Art of Anna E. Keener by Cori Sherman North

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Director's Foreword

• • • • VI

Curator's Preface . . . . . . . . . . . .

• • • • VI

A Zest for Life and Paint . . . . . . . .

.... 1

Color Plates

... 17


... 51

Old Main, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery Archives


DIRECTOR'S FOREWORD I have often driven from Lindsborg to Denver, passing through the small town of Flagler, Colorado. It's a good place to stop (with a Loaf 'N Jug and the 1-70 Diner) to take a break from the High Plains highways of Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado. Early in my time at the Gallery, I learned that one of Birger Sandzen's better-known students, Anna Keener, had been born in the town-and that led me to an interest in her life and artwork. Throughout the years, the more I learned about her the more fascinated I became. Although her early art efforts were clearly influenced by Sandzen, her work evolved to become an original, signature style. Her

willingness to explore a variety of mediums is also something I, as a practicing artist myself, embrace and appreciate. It is an honorforthe Gallery to dedicate an entire exhibition to the wide achievements of Anna Keener. Her life as an artist, educator, and proponent of the arts has created a lasting legacy that should be revered and remembered. We thank her family for making this possible and deeply appreciate their commitment and support.

Ron Michael

CURATOR'S PREFACE earlier solo exhibitions in 1959 and 1968. Most ofthe fifty paintings, sculpture, and collateral material in this exhibition are lent by the artist's family from New Mexico. We extend heartfelt thanks to Keener's son-in-law Ernest Pompeo and her granddaughter and grandson-in-law Tsenre and Michael Deveraux, for sharing such fascinating glimpses ofthe artist's life and work. David McCullough, of Fine American Art (also of New Mexico}, has been an invaluable agent working for the family's Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust art collection.

Anna Elizabeth Keener left a remarkable legacy, both in her body of work and in the lives of uncountable students she taught during her decades in grade schools and colleges in Kansas, Texas, Michigan, Indiana, and New Mexico. Her dedication to art education was profound and through her unceasing zeal she helped establish new curricula and art organizations in all the states in which she taught. The Sandzen Gallery is honored to hostthis third show of Anna Keener's work, following


The Sandzen Gallery would also like to thank local lenders of Keener's work who have added historical depth to the exhibition. Bethany College's Wyoming Hills painting of 1919 appears in many of Birger Sandzen's daily entries for exhibitions in the region around 1920. Lee Starkel of McPherson has generously loaned the painting Aspens in Cabresto, formerly owned by her grandmotherWilola Adams Hiatt, in addition to donating a signed copy of Keener's textbook Spontaneity in Design (1923) to the Gallery's permanent collection. Hiatt went to school with Anna Keener in Dalhart and always stressed the importance ofthe arts within her own family. Lindsborg's Jeanette Roath has shared a portrait of her grandfather, Daniel E. Danielson, who served in an all-Swedish infantry division in the Civil War before settling in Kansas in 1873. Keener's painting records for 1919 reveal its date of creation, as well as the fact that she painted several portraits of Lind borg residents that same year, when she had returned to Bethany College for teaching experience after serving in World War I.

archivist Dr. Monte Monroe and all the library staff for their help during exceptionally productive research days spent at the university. The David Cook Galleries in Denver, Colorado, have also been a wonderful collaborator, with their dedication to promoting Anna Keener's art throughout the region. Special thanks are due every day to Sandzen Gallery colleagues-Ron Michael, Muriel Gentine, Mary Swenson, and Dr. Delmar Homan-and to all our supportive families. Daughter Amy Sherman has been copyediting my work since 2012, when she embarked upon her editing career at the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her attention to detail provides the most marvelous sense of security when releasing my writing into the world. Spouse Bill North's exhibition catalogue The Regionalist Vision of William Dickerson (1997) provided the structural model for this effort, and I am always grateful for his matchless curatorial example that I am fortunate enough to rely on for impromptu consultation at all hours.

From 1965, Anna Keener Wilton began donating her papers and memorabilia to the Southwest Collection in the Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, annotating and adding personal recollections as she turned her correspondence and records over to the library's safekeeping. I thank the

Cori Sherman North


Laura Gilpin (1891-1979), Portrait ofAnna Keener, 1957; Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


A ZEST FOR LIFE AND PAINT by Cori Sherman North In May of 1968, Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, invited Anna Keener Wilton to return to campus to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award of Merit. The Lindsborg News-Record reported on Keener's art and education career and her beginnings at the school studying with international artist Birger Sandzen (1871-1954). As Keener was accepting her award, an exhibition of her work was on display in the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, which had opened its doors in 1957 on a corner ofthe college grounds. Summing up Anna Keener's accomplishments over past decades was a difficult task for the newspaper, which attempted to include all her teaching experiences and important exhibitions in addition to describing her vibrant personality and spirit of adventure. On an earlier occasion of a solo show at the Sandzen Gallery in March of 1959, the News-Record had described Keener thus: "At heart, she is an experimentalist, full of the zest for getting the most out of both paint and life.'11

Bethany College Years, 1913-1918 Anna Elizabeth Keener was born October 16 1895, to Eva May (nee Young, 1871-1935) and Frank Keener(1868-1934) in Flagler, Colorado. In 1902 the family moved to Dalhart, Texas, where Frank Keener worked for the Rock Island Railroad. Anna's one sibling, Lenora Helen, was born in 1904. Anna Keener graduated from Dalhart High School in the spring of 1913 and arrived at Bethany College that autumn to study art, music, and educational methods. Birger Sandzen quickly became her mentor and one of the most important influences on her career. After Sandzen died in June 1954, his widow Alfrida wrote in reply to Keener's condolences, assuring her, "You were one of Birger's favorite & most gifted students. Your work was always beautiful.'12 I

Anna Keener must have impressed Sandzen right from the beginning. At the first opportunity after she enrolled, Keener was invited to exhibit in the 1914 Midwest Art Exhibition at Bethany College over April 5-12. This was the annual art show that Sandzen had

begun in 1899 to accompany the college's Messiah oratorio concert performed every Eastertidefrom 1882. Manyofthe invited artists in 1914 were Swedish Americans from Chicago who were fairly well known, but that year Sandzen included a few promising students, including Keener, who had three paintings and two drawings displayed. She continued to be invited to exhibit in the annual show over the next decade, even when she was hundreds of miles away. In the spring of 1958, the newly opened Sandzen Memorial Gallery took on responsibility for the historic Easter week Midwest Art Exhibition and invited Anna Keener Wilton to show.

adjunct teaching at the college, specializing in china painting. Keener gained national attention early in her career due to her association with Sandzen. She regularly exhibited in the McPherson High School annual, an exhibition program established in 1911 by Birger Sandzen and Carl Smalley (1885-1965) that continued through 1937. Each year, Sandzen invited well-known American artists to show and gave lectures to attract crowds of visitors. The modest entrance fees that were collected enabled the school to purchase new works of art and build a rich, permanent collection, which is now housed in the McPherson Museum. Keener's works were included in the show beginning with the fifth exhibition in 1915.

Keener recalled practicing piano four hours a day while studying under Professor Arvid Wallin, "All the while thinking of what I would do when I got back to the art department.'13 In her sophomore year at the college, 1914-1915, Keener's boyfriend was Professor Gustaf Lund, a classical scholar whose sister arranged for Anna to stay at Hull House for the summer while she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Looking back in 1965, Keener remembered Lund taking her to her first nightclub in the Windy City.4 By 1915 she finished her first degree program at Bethany, earning a bachelor of fine arts, and began

The following year's sixth annual had a southwestern theme, and Keener submitted two paintings, Chalk Butte and A Wyoming Cut Bank. The McPherson newspaper reported, "The exhibition this year will be the most important ever assembled in Kansas and one of the most important ever shown in the central and western states.''5 About sixty-five paintings were gathered for An Exhibition of

Paintings by Some Artists of the Southwest to travel to Norman, Oklahoma; Pittsburg,


World War I, 1918-1919

Kansas; Springfield, Illinois; and then to Indianapolis, Indiana. The brochure for the first showing, at the University of Oklahoma over December 1-20, 1916, contained a foreword written by Birger Sandzen introducing the exhibition: "The Great Southwest is a marvelous sketching ground. Its artists are eager to contribute their share to our national art. May the art-loving public give them their kind interest and support."6 Along with a long list of Sandzen works, the show included works by other artists from all over the western states, such as Henry Varnum Poor (Palo Alto, Stanford University), Raymond Jonson (Santa Barbara), and E. L. Blumenschein, Bert Phillips, Joseph Sharp, and E. Irving Couse, all ofTaos, New Mexico.

After finishing up her bachelor's degree (an AB) in the spring of 1918, Keener visited Detroit, Michigan, along with her mother and sister as guests of a naval lieutenant. He convinced the recent graduate that there would be nothing else to do until the war was over, so Keener wentto a recruiting office and joined the US Navy in order to do her part in winning World War I. In August the new yeomanette was assigned to cost inspection duties at Detroit's Ford Motor Company and worked there until she was discharged on October 24, 1919.8 The young artist spent her free evening and weekend hours honing her craft by attending the Detroit School of Design and studying etching techniques.9

In 1918 the American Magazine ofArt featured an article reviewing the 1917 seventh annual exhibition. In the article, titled "An Exhibition in a Kansas High School," Keener follows mention of Sandzen and Oscar Brousse Jacobson (1882-1966), another Sandzen student, who had graduated in 1903 and went on to head the art department at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Her painting A Mountain Ranch was described as "delightful in color, and exceptionally well painted."7

Through all her traveling, and no matter where she settled, Anna Keener maintained very close ties to Lindsborg, the Sandzen family, and her alma mater, Bethany College. While Keener served in Detroit, Birger Sandzen continued to include his former student in all the local exhibitions, just as he had when she was present. In his art register daybooks of the next several years, Sandzen often included Keener's work in his own delivery records to various exhibitions


Back to Bethany, 1919-1920

around the area, such as to Fort Hays Normal School (now Fort Hays State University) in July of 1918 and May of 1919; to the eighth and ninth annual McPherson High School exhibitions in 1918 and 1919; to Hiawatha, Kansas, for the Southwest Exhibition; and to the art exhibition at the Kansas State Fair in September 1919. He also recorded titles when he sent impressions of his prints to Anna in Detroit for her to show interested collectors. In the art register for December 5, 1918, Sandzen wrote down a list of prints sent outto "Anna Keener, 115 Selden Ave., Detroit, Mich." and then noted on January 10, 1919, that most ofthem had sold.1 Keener seems to have helped organized some exhibitions as well, as evidenced by Sandzen's art register of September 22, 1919, which notes, "Sent to Mr. Clyde H. Burroughs, Sec. Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, Mich., prints for an exhibition of wood engravings in color to serve a number of museums ofthe Middle West. Rec. a request from Mr. Burroughs July 12, 1919." He lists his own works that were sent, then enumerates Keener's woodblock prints that had also shipped: "13. Factories on

When Keener was released from military service she returned to Bethany College as an art professor, assisting Sandzen during the academic year of 1919-1920. Anna Keener was quite productive that year, working on her own painting technique and completing private commissions. Her oil portrait of Daniel E. Danielson (plate 2), a Civil War veteran of an all-Swedish brigade from Illinois, is one of the very few extant examples of her portraiture and is done in the manner ofSandzen's portraits of the period. According to records she kept from 1919 and 1920, Keener did several portraits of Lindsborg residents while she lived in the town, but after moving away from the college to pursue her teaching career in other states, she gave up the practice.

Keener's oil painting Wyoming Hills of 1919 (plate 1) may have been purchased soon after its showing in the twelfth annual McPherson Art Exhibit of 1922. The painting, which presents very strong likeness to Sandzen's landscape style, had also appeared in exhibition lists for the show of southwestern art collected in 1916 and for the Topeka Art Guild.12 The painting was in private hands until1995, when it was donated

the Detroit River $6, 14. Unloading Coal $4, 15. Eagle ready for Launching $4, and 16. Caisson Wheels $5."11


to Bethany College's art collection. Keener painted many scenes of Wyoming, done whenever she was able to visit her aunt's ranch, which was adjacent to that of Buffalo Bill Cody and the subject of many fond memories.

gifted artist...She has studied patiently and seriously and acquired a splendid technique in painting and drawing ...She is also a highly successful teacher, which is best proven by the very high standard of the work of her pupils, beginners as well as professional art students ... I recommend her without hesitation."13 Dean Emil 0. Deere and Anna Carlson of the education department wrote similar glowing reports of Keener's accomplishments at Bethany.

In the spring semester of 1920, the Bethany College chapter of the honorary art fraternity Delta Phi Delta was established and Keener was one of the first to join, remaining an active member in years ahead. Delta Phi Delta was first organized as The Palette Club atthe University of Kansas in 1909, and began its official publication, the Palette, in 1911. Keenersubmitted regular updates to the Palette through the 1920s, providing invaluable contemporary perspectives on the artist's life experiences at the time.

The lure of the American Southwest proved the greater and Keener spent an enjoyable year in Globe discovering and collecting Native American baskets, pottery, and rugs while enriching youngsters' creative education. She lived with several other teachers who took her exploring on weekends in a communally purchased used Ford Model Tto wild desert territories and an Apache reservation. Keener recalled, "I'm sure that I helped push that Model T up more hills than I ever rode up," but it was worth the effort, because "we saw Indian dances that few white people were ever permitted to see."14 The year in Arizona was important to the young artist, although she did minimal painting and made very few sketches during this year as she was so eager to see new places and explore new cultures.

First Teaching Job, Globe, Arizona, 1920-1921 The spring of 1920 brought Keener a choice between teaching at the University of Kentucky or supervising the art program of the public school system in Globe, Arizona. Her Bethany colleagues supported her job hunting by writing recommendations. Sandzen wrote, "I take pleasure in stating that Miss Anna Keener is an exceptionally


One of the few pieces Keener did paint during thattime was Arizona Mission, which was shown in the 1921 McPherson High School annual that fall. Sandzen had written to his former student in December of 1920, proposing several exhibitions for Keener to participate in, cheerily teasing that "a few hundred or thousand miles is nothing to you" and that "for the spring exhibition here we expect some of your most stunning things."15 The Arizona Mission oil painting likely portrays the same subject as the artist's blockprint of 1923, San Xavier Mission (plate 8). The print depicts the Tucson area's Mission San Xavier del Bac, built from 1783 after its founding in 1692. The adventurous missionary Father Eusebio Kino established the church on behalf of New Spain and named it for the cofounder of the Jesuit order, Francis Xavier (1506, Spain-1552, China). The church was to serve the Tohono O'odham [Desert People] Nation and continues today as the oldest, and finest, example of the European Spanish Colonial style of architecture in the United States.

passes the family was accustomed to. When Eva and Frank Keener saw how isolated the town of Globe was, they insisted that the young artist resign from her position in the schools. Keener returned to Kansas to take up art directing at the Kansas City High School in the fall of 1921. She developed a dynamic art program at the school, with a rigorous schedule of courses and extracurricular activities for her students. Five art courses were taught during the school day, with students also required to visit area exhibitions on their own time. Commercial art, freshman drawing, interior decoration and costume design, life class, and outdoor sketching were offered to cover the essential areas of furthering an art career. The stated mission of the high school's art department was "To develop artists; to serve the school and city when artistic work is needed; and to encourage the desire for good art in Kansas City, Kansas. The latter is especially supported by the Art Club of which practically all art students are members."16 Keener operated on principles and practices absorbed from her Bethany College mentor and felt proud of the fact that her new students were so excited about the art they were learning to create that they were determined to start a school collection just as Birger

Kansas City, 1921-1924 Anna Keener's time in Arizona was cut short when her parents traveled to visit their daughter, using the Rock Island Railroad


annual Midwestern Art Exhibition) and won a bronze medal. The following year another of her blockprints, the linoleum print Cottonwood-Rita Blanco Canyon (plate 9), earned an honorable mention. Later that spring the linocuttraveled to Topeka and was displayed at Washburn College among other artists' prizewinning pieces.

Sandzen had encouraged them to do. He had been invited to the high school on February 18, 1922, and gave a lecture to an audience ofthree hundred on ''Art Problems of To-Day," in addition to showing several of his new canvases. It was reported in the local paper, the Kansas City Kansan, that Sandzen•s visit had inspired the student body to form an art club, which began fund raising immediately to purchase one of the landscape paintings the Lindsborg artist had brought as visual aids to display while he lecturedY Sandzen always discounted his prices drastically for students, and, as in this case, usually donated impressions of his prints to schools that he visited. The work the Kansas City students chose to collect next was by Walter Ufer {1876-1936), a western artist from Taos. Ufer's two portraits of American Indians were voted in to join the Sandzen landscape as seeds of the school art collection.

The early 1920s were active printmaking years for Anna Keener. In February of 1916 Birger Sandzen had taken up printmaking and created his first lithograph, Colorado Pines. Thereafter, he encouraged all of his students to make prints and was always generous with his own editions, giving prints to schools around the region wherever he lectured and as prizes for young artists in hopes of fostering a love of art. Keener had begun her own printmaking career by carving woodblocks and using Sandzen's unique nail cut technique of pounding square nails into wood in a pointillist style of landscape composition. In May of 1922 a meeting of Bethany College's Smoky Hill Art Club that Sandzen had organized in 1913 resulted in the purchase of Keener's linoleum cut The Peon's Servant for the schooVs permanent collection. Keener experimented with new methods of printmaking in the years that followed, continuing her etching studies

Anna Keener also connected to the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) during her tenure at the high school, bringing entire classes on tours of the art school to meet and ask questions of working artists. She also submitted a ••nailcut" woodblock print, Barn on the Hill (plate 5), to the KCAI spring exhibition of 1922, the Missouri-KansasOklahoma Exhibition (which became the


begun in Detroit later adding lithography study with Joseph Imhof (1871-1955) in Taos. Along with creating her own print designs, Keener collected impressions of Sandzen's prints and left more than twenty of her mentor's lithographs and woodcuts to her heirs.

in his work. Keener's first months of married life were spent on the road, sightseeing and sketching. Her love of auto adventure was detailed in a 1924 issue ofthe Delta Phi Delta national magazine the Palette, in which she gave a brief synopsis of her recent doings: "I've been over eleven states twice this summer and winter... now my ambition is to have a one-man show of things I've been doing."

The year 1923 was a particularly memorable one for Keener. In January she showed in the Kansas City Art Institute's exhibition of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma artists and earned the honorable mention noted above. In the September issue of School Arts Magazine, a number of Keener's Kansas City high school students' linoleum blockprints were reproduced. And, her thirty-one-page textbook Spontaneity in Design was published and immediately adopted into art education curricula around the region.18 Her instructional text presents a method ofteaching creative drawing exercises using student "scribbles" as the basis of original, non repeatable designs. At the end of the year, Keener returned to her hometown of Dalhart, Texas, to marry Louis Raymond Wilton at the Methodist Episcopal Church on November 21, 1923.

Keener loved the Texas landscape and was glad to accept a position at the Sui Ross State Teachers College in Alpine, Texas, near the Davis Mountains. During the academic year 1925-1926 Mrs. Wilton kept her students busy with organizing exhibitions and lectures on their work, planning weekend sketching trips out into the wilderness, and solving design problems such as creating batik draperies for the Dean of Women's office and the girls' restroom. Succeeding Mabel Vandiver (1886-1991) as professor of drawing, Keener added two new courses and expanded the program with a life class and plein air landscape painting. This marked the beginning of an independent art department that catered to art students as well as the future teachers who had been populating the drawing courses. The scenery around Sui Ross was well worth painting. Anna Keener

Exploring Texas, 1924-1926 Louis Wilton was an executive for the Boy Scouts of America who traveled frequently


was quoted in a school publication, which stated, "The Davis Mountains of Texas provide as promising material for the artist as any she has found."19 One of Keener's students at Sui Ross was James Swann (1905-1985), who was the art editorforthe school's yearbook and president ofthe art club, and went on to have a notable career as an active member ofthe Prairie Print Makers (founded 1930, in Birger Sandzen's Lindsborg studio) and the Chicago Society of Etchers (established 1910).

On December 15, 1926, twin daughters Betty Lou and Lou Ann Wilton were born at Sparks Memorial Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas, near Louis Wilton's hometown, although the family was residing in Jackson, Michigan, at the time. Keener's notes reveal that she stopped actively making art and exhibiting for about three years following her twins' birth. But by 1929 she was ready to start submitting work for exhibitions, and did so in several different cities in Texas and Indiana. Keener saved a December 5, 1929, letterfrom the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association in Chicago thanking the artist for her painting Elephant Mountain, which had arrived safely and was installed for the November 15 opening of the annual exhibition of collection. The Vanderpoel Collection was begun through donations from artists who knew and appreciated John Vanderpoel's (1857-1911) tenure as a drawing instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago. Vanderpoel was the author of The Human Figure (1907), the standard textbook for art students around the country for many years. It is highly likely that Birger Sandzen encouraged Keener to give her painting to the Chicago association, as he had donated the oil Mountain Lake at Sunset in 1913, when the association first began organizing and collecting two years after Vanderpoel's death.

Keener managed to continue her auto adventures even while maintaining a full teaching load. She often used the college car to take students on weekend sketching forays. The college president, Dr. Horace Morelock, who quickly became a mentor and lifelong friend, would check with Anna on Fridays to see where she planned to go, stipulating only that she "take Rudolph Mellard to drive the car, know the country, and speak Spanish."20 She followed the instruction, and during the summer break of 1926, Keener took Mellard, Swann, and one other art student on a six-day road trip to explore the natural beauty of the canyons and courses of the Rio Grande around Big Bend National Park.


The year 1933 found the Wiltons staying with the Keener family in Dalhart. Anna was able to focus on her painting and in September had two oils accepted for the Exposition International Federation of Business and Professional Women held at the Stedelyk Museum in Amsterdam. She shipped two 16x20-inch canvases overseas from Dalhart in August, including Oklahoma Afternoon {plate 14). Saved correspondence notes an exhibition entrance fee of $2.00, and if artists wished to have their work reproduced in the exhibition catalogue there was an additional fee of $4.50.

known as Mrs. Wilton in the classroom, Anna Keener had separated from her husband and went through the difficult process of divorce in order to take financial responsibility for her girls by teaching in mainstream Gallup school districts. Until World War II changed the country's workforce demands, women could not teach if they were married. Keener never remarried, but maintained an active social life through her professional associations. An important part of Keener's life and well-being in New Mexico was the family retreat in Cabresto Canyon, near Questa in Taos County and the Carson National Forest of northern New Mexico. The family owned eighty-four acres of mountain land and, overtime, built cabins in which to reside and paint. From the 1930s until the end of her life, Keener hiked, sketched, and painted the landscape of Cabresto, as can be seen in her works Aspens in Cabresto (plate 29), Aspen Before the Storm (plate 28), Toward Spring (plate 25), and Three Walk Through the Woods (plate 24). The latter, a casein painting from 1956, depicts the inseparable trio of Keener and her two daughters, set in their favorite place in the world. Our Lake of 1961 (plate 31) shows the Cabresto mountain landscape as a natural haven for the family, of great contemplative

New Mexico Public Schools The Wilton family relocated to New Mexico in 1934, moving to a number of different cities and towns but settling permanently in the state. Louis was still working with the Boy Scouts and Anna began teaching elementary grades in rural, underserved schools, starting with Red River School at an annual salary of $605. She moved on to Ojo Caliente for the 1935-1936 academic year, to Las Vegas for 1936-1937, and then taught in Socorro over the 1937-1938year.ln 1938Anna legally divorced Louis, who eventually moved back to Arkansas and married again, seeing the twins on their summer visits. Continuing to be


beauty and deep creativity that was frequently translated to canvas.

exciting program that fully engaged new artists. Studio visits and residencies of serious working artists were regular events. She brought to the school potter Rosa Gonzales (ca. 1900-1989} from the San ldlefonso Pueblo of New Mexico, an important center for Native American ceramics. Gonzales was to teach a two-week workshop in her carved blackware pottery, and Keener was quoted as predicting, "It will be a fine experience for students in art to work with her."22 Students had regular field trips to Taos and Santa Fe to meet artists such as Gustave Baumann (1881-1971} and Emil Bisttram (1895-1976) as well as to tour art museums and galleries.

Keener's teaching in the Gallup school system began in 1939 and first took her to a circuit of four different mining camp schools. Keener initiated art appreciation in each of the schools, establishing an "art spot" in each classroom to show a full range of arts and craft, including "Mrs. Wilton's own paintings."21 In November that first year Keener took eighty-seven grade schoolers on an art pilgrimage around Gallup, ending with a visit to artist Lloyd Moylan (1893-1963) at the McKinley County Courthouse while he was finishing his mural commission for President Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration/ Federal Art Project {WPA/FAP). As Keener was working on her own mural, Zuni Pottery Making, in the same courthouse in 1942, the opportunity arose for her to teach at Eastern New Mexico College in Portales.

During her tenure at the college, Keener helped organize an annual show, the New Mexico Art Schools Exhibition. Other colleges and art schools collaborated for several years to exhibit at the Museum of New Mexico Art Gallery in Santa Fe, giving students the chance to build their exhibition experience.

Eastern New Mexico College, Portales, 1942-1953

Keener also participated directly in curriculum planning for the state. In July of 1942 Professor Wilton delivered the paper "A Proposed Program of Art Education for the Public Schools of New Mexico," as part of her master's degree studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She earned

In August of 1942, Anna Keener Wilton embarked on more than a decade of heading the art department at what is now Eastern New Mexico University. A scattering of students' letters attests to her success in creating an


her MFA from the university in 1951, doing a thesis on Zuni pottery. She also continued her schooling atthe Colorado State Teachers College, Greeley, to earn an MAin art education. In 1943, Ralph Douglass ofthe University of New Mexico wrote to ask Anna about plans for adding an art section to the New Mexico School Review, proposing she write something from the point of view of a college art teacher. She wrote the article "Art Education, A Vital Program" for a subsequent issue of the New Mexico School Review, stating, "The joy children derive from self expression in painting and modeling can not be estimated."23 Keener argued against outdated art syllabi and rote craft making in classrooms.

In 1956 Keener rejoined the New Mexico chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). After retiring, she got much painting done but missed the social aspects of active organizations. She was determined to "say no to everything" in order to "prevent the situation which had caused me to resign from AAUWa few years previously," but soon found herself agreeing to be the fine arts chairman as well as board member. 24 By the following year, she was also the art chairman for the New Mexico section of the American Artists Professional League, headquartered in New York City. And she worked locally to promote community pride in all the arts, spearheading programs and events in Santa Fe. By 1959, she was chairing the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs, which had already instituted the Anna E. Keener Award for its membership three years before.

Last Home, Santa Fe, 1953-1982 Retirement did not mean that Keener slowed down or had an empty calendar. The first thing she did following the spring semester in 1953 was to move from Portales to Santa Fe and establish a home studio at 312 Cadiz Road in the southern end ofthe city. Her intention was to focus on her art and maintain a rigorous exhibition schedule. The 1950s were very productive years for the artist, as she painted what she liked and experimented with new materials.

However, the organization closest to Keener's heart was the national Artists Equity Association (AEA). She joined early in its history, exhibiting with the group by the late 1950s.ln April of 1964, Anna K. Wilton was elected the new president of the Santa Fe chapter of the AEA by popular vote. She immediately began working on plans for creating a New Mexico Arts Council that


would oversee arts programs in all of the state's major cities. In 1965, a bill was drawn up and passed March 19 by New Mexico's Twenty-Seventh Legislature establishing the New Mexico Arts Commission. Anna Keener never shied away from asking for help for a worthy cause, and in June of 1965 she wrote to President Lyndon Johnson to ask for his support in passing a bill through Congress that would "establish a National Council on the Arts and a National Arts Foundation to assist in the growth and development of the arts in the United States."25

During this productive time the exhibition Recent Paintings by Anna E. Keener opened at the Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque on September 27, 1964, despite Raymond Jonson's (18911982) best efforts to dissuade his friend Anna. In a letter sent earlier in the year, Jonson wrote to Keener, "I cannot encourage anyone to exhibit here for the simple reason it is hardly worthwhile. The work involved and the expense add to it."26 He mentioned the artist's cost of refreshments for the opening reception, interviews with local papers, and the four-hundred-name mailing list sent to the artist to address by hand. Jonson expressed concern that Keener's eyes might not be up to that task, but offered to keep October free if she still wanted that time slot. Two lists survive from the exhibition planning, which reveal that Forest Fantasy Series #3 (Green) (plate 39) and Forest Fantasy Series #9 (Mine Shaft) (plate 40), were included in the university showthatfall. 27 Jonson and Keener had exhibited together earlier in their careers, both having been invited by Birger Sandzen to the Bethany College's annual Midwest Art Exhibit and to nearby McPherson High School's annual exhibitions from 1914 through 1920. Jonson moved to Santa Fe in 1924, and then taught at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque from 1934

The 1960s were also a dynamic period in the artist's career, in which she produced several important series of differing subjects and medium. The Mexico Series of 1963-1965 includes scenes she sketched while visiting Mexico for several months in 1963 with fellow Santa Fe artist Webb Young and his wife. Keener painted almost a dozen organic, abstract works in her Forest Fantasy Series of 1964, and then a similar number in the Pictograph and Petroglyph Series of 1968. In April of 1968 the artist sent Petroglyph Series #2 and Petroglyph Series #11 to the forty-fourth annual National Art Exhibit at Springville High School in Utah, a major exhibition that she exhibited in every year 1957 through 1971.


until retiring in 1954. The Jonson Gallery at the university was established in 1950, with Jonson in charge of planning exhibitions for each academic year.

Series #1 (Tsankawi Ruins) (plate 42) that was a gift ofthe artistto the Sandzen Gallery was presented at that time.

In 1970 New Mexico's governor David Cargo purchased Anna Keener's landscape oil Questa as the five hundredth work entered in the "Governor's Committee on Paintings" loan program run by the New Mexico Arts Commission that Keener had a hand in running. 31 To promote artists in the state, loaned artworks were displayed around New Mexico and available for purchase by interested buyers. Governor Cargo purchased Keener's Questa personally, to hang in the gubernatorial mansion.

In 1968 Anna Keener wrote a letter of acceptance for the honor of being named a Distinguished Alumna of Bethany College. She stated, "I feel more indebted to Bethany College, Miss Anna D. Carlson and Dr. Birger Sandzen than anyone will ever know. I hope the class of 1918 will feel as proud as I, even though I feel sure some of them deserve your consideration more than I do."28 The Distinguished Alumni Award of Merit was officially presented to Keener on May 25 at the president's reception held at the Sandzen Gallery. The artist gave her painting Forest Fantasy #9 (Mine Shaft) (plate 40) to Bethany College on this occasion. President Arvin Hahn sent a letter to the artist thanking her for the gift and letting her know the painting would hang in the Gallery all summer before being transferred to his office in September. 29 Another letter from Charles Pelham Greenough, Gallery co-director and Birger Sandzen's son-in-law, mentioned how happy he and his wife Margaret were to have met Keener's daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Pompeo, and "their charming daughter.''3째 The 1968 painting Pictograph

Another honor was presented in 1975, when the artist was named Woman of the Year by the Santa Fe chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, the international organization for women educators.32 It is quite fitting that Anna Keener was recognized for a life spent in service to the arts and education. Anna Keener died on June 22, 1982, and was buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, as a privilege accorded to all resident military veterans.


Students ofthe Art Department, The Daisy 1915 (Bethany College yearbook) Front Row: Anna Keener 3rd from left, Birger Sandzen 5th from left


"Art Exhibitatthe Sandzen Gallery Mar. 22," Lindsborg News-Record, March 16, 1959, 1.


Anna Keener, 1965 note on 1917 Daisy yearbook, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Alfrida Sandzen letter to Anna Keener Wilton, 2 August 1954, box 1. Anna E. Keener Papers, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (hereafter cited as Anna E. Keener Papers).




"High School Art Show: Will be Opening of Southwestern Art Exhibition," McPherson Daily Republican, September 25, 1916, 1.



Birger Sandzen, foreword to "An Exhibition of Paintings by Some Artists ofthe Southwest," brochure, December 1916, BirgerSandzen Memorial Gallery archives.


Carl J. Smalley, "An Exhibition in a Kansas High School." American Magazine ofArt(January 1918): 111.


Anna Keener, "Globe, Arizona 1920-21" (typescript remembrance, n.d.), box 1, folder 50, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener, letter published in the Delta Phi Delta Palette (1925), 22.

1 0

Birger Sandzen, art register 1915-1919, Sandzen Archives, Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas.




Birger Sandzen art registers, Sandzen Archives, Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas.


Birger Sandzen, letter, To Whom it May Concern, 25 May 1920, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener, "Globe, Arizona 1920-21" (typescript remembrance, n.d.), box 1, folder 50, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Birger Sandzen,letterto Anna Keener, 5 December 1920, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener, "Art Department" page in the Quiverian yearbook for Kansas City High School, 1928.


"H.S. May Start Art Group: Plan to Buy Sandzen Painting as Nucleus of Collection for School-Contribute Cost," Kansas City Kansan, February 20, 1922, 1.


Anna E. Keener, Spontaneity in Design (Kansas City, MO: Missouri Valley Press, 1923).


Mary Bones and Michael Duty, The Lost Colony: Texas Regionalist Paintings (Alpine, TX: Museum ofthe Big Bend, Sui Ross State University, 2011), n.p.




"Intensive Art Work in Camp Schools" (news clipping, 23 Nov 1939), box 1, folder 27, Anna E. Keener Papers.


"Famous Indian Pottery Maker Will be Here" (news clipping, n.d.), box 2, folder 25, Anna E. Keener Papers.



Anna Keener, "Art Education, a Vital Program" (undated manuscript ca. 1943-44), box 1, folder 52, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener Wilton, "American Association of University Women" (typed memoir), box 2, folder 17, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener, letter to Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, 3 June 1964, box 1, folder 56, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Raymond Jonson, letter to Anna Keener, n.d. [1964], box 1, folder45, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Exhibition lists for Jonson Gallery, box 1, folder45, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Anna Keener, letter to Stanley Talbott, Alumni Association of Bethany College, 26 March 1968, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Arvin Hahn, letter to Anna Keener, 27 May 1968, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


Charles Pelham Greenoughthethe 3rd,lettertoAnna Keener, 29 May 1968, box 1, folder 11, Anna E. Keener Papers.


"Arts Commission Paintings Program," Santa Fe New Mexican, July 19, 1970.


Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Theta State News, May 1975,4.








1. Wyoming Hills, 1919, oil on canvas,22 x 24 in., Bethany College Art Collection; Gift in Memory of Percy and Hattie Shogren by the Family 1995


2. Portrait of Daniel E. Danielson, 1919, oil on canvas, 18 x 14 1/8 in., Collection of the Danielson and Rooth Families


3. BluffTops in Fall, 1919, woodcut(nailcut) on paper, 7% x 6 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

4. Moonlight, 1920, woodcut on paper, 8 x 6 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


5. Barn on the Hill, 1922, woodcut (nailcut) on paper, 16 x 11 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


6. Louisiana Mill, 1923, Linoleum cut on paper, 6 x 9 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

7. Roosevelt Lake-Arizona, 1923, blockprint on Oberlin College calendar page for May 1922, 6 x 8 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


8. San Xavier Mission, 1923, Linoleum cut on paper, 5 x 5 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


9. Cottonwood-Rita Blanco Canyon, 1923, Linoleum cut on paper, 12 x 13 Y.z in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


10. Old Cottonwood, 1923/1963, hand-colored Linoleum cut on paper, 12 x 13 Y.z in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


11. Espada Mission, 1925, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


12. Tetons, ca. early 1920s, casein on canvas paper mounted on Masonite, 12 x 16 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

13. Marion, Indiana, ca. 1930, oil on canvas board, 18 x 24 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


14. Oklahoma Afternoon, ca. 1933, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


15. The Goats, 1941, lithograph on paper, 9 x 12 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

16. Molly Mines, ca. 1940s, lithograph on paper; edition 3/10, 9 x 13% in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


17. Untitled drawing of Molly Mines in Ouesta, New Mexico, ca. 1940s, color pencil on paper, 11 1A x 171h. in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


18. Fantasy#4, ca. 1948, watercolor on paper, 11 x 10 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


19. Behind the Scene, 1952, lithograph on paper, 14 x 10 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

20. Evening [aka Navajo Shepherdess], 1952, lithograph on paper, 14 x 11 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


21. The Good Earth, 1952, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


22. Peaceful Valley, 1953, lithograph on paper; edition 4/10, 10 x 13 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


24. Three Walk through the Woods, [aka A Walk Through the Woods], 23. Cabresto Lake, 1954, "Sketcho" oil pastel on paper, 17 x 12 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


1956, casein on Masonite, 35 %x 16 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

25. Toward Spring, 1956, casein on Masonite, 24 x 32 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

26. Mountain Lake, 1958, casein on Masonite, 12 x 32 1h in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


27.A Leaf, A Bone, and Stone, ca. 1959, oil on canvas board, 16 x 20 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


28. Aspen Before the Storm, ca. 1950, oil on canvas. 20 x 16 in .• Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


29. Aspen in Cabresto, ca. 1950s, acrylic on Masonite, 16 x 14 in., The Family ofWilola Adams Hiatt


30. Collocation, ca. 1960s, collagraph on paper, 17 x 13 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

31. Our Lake, 1961, acrylic polymer on canvas, 24 x 20 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust



33. Symbols, 1962, relief etching on paper, 11 % x 9 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


32. Wash Day, 1962, lithograph on paper; edition 9/10,22% x 30 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


34. Early Morning, Patzcuaro, Mexico, 1963, oil over casein on Masonite, 29 x 21 V.Z in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


35. Herefords on the Range, 1963, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

36. Mexico Series V #3, 1963, color monoprint with sponge; edition 3/5, 10 '!h x 12 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


37. San Miguel de Allende, 1963, watercolor on paper, 23% x 18 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

38. Mexico Series X #1 (Old Man by the Window), 1965, casein on Masonite, 16 x 12 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


39. Forest Fantasy Series #3 (Green), 1964, acrylic polymer

on masonite, 16 x 27 1h in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

40. Forest Fantasy Series #9 (Mine Shaft), 1964, acrylic polymer on board, 36 1h x 28 1h in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


41. Units [aka Rectangular Shapes], ca. mid-1960s, casein and acrylic polymer on Masonite, 28 x 36 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

42. Pictograph Series #1 (Tsankawi Ruins), 1968, acrylic polymer on Masonite, 24 x 32 in.; Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Gift of the Artist


43. Tranquility, mid-1960s, watercolor on paper, 20 x 16 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

44. Bryce Canyon, 1969, acrylic on Masonite, 16 x 12 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


45. Near Moab, 1970, oil on canvas paper mounted on Masonite, 14x 18 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


46. El Otono [aka Fall in Cabresto], 1970, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

47. Dream Lake (Yosemite National Park), 1970, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust


48. Untitled [aka Mother and Child], clay, 10 x 8 x 8 in., Collection ofthe Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust

49. St. Anthony of Padua, 1934, painted wood, 18 x 6 x 6 in., Collection of the Ernest and Betty Lou Pompeo Trust



October 16, born Flagler, Colorado, to Eva May (Young) and FrankL Keener



Keenerfamily moved to Dalhart, Texas



Graduated from Dalhart High School, Texas



September began study Bethany College with Birger Sandzen (1871-1954)




November, showed in the McPherson High School Annual Art Exhibition (begun 1911 by Sandzen and Carl Smalley)


Discharged from U.S. Navy, Oct returned to Bethany College for assistant teaching


Sept 13-20, Art Exhibition at the Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, Kansas


September, four woodblock prints included in Sandzlm's group of prints sentto Detroit, Michigan, for an "exhibition of wood engravings in color to serve a number of museums ofthe Middle West" (neither Keener nor Sandzen

January-April, participated in circuit of Kansas art around state organized by Araminta Holman, of Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)


May 4-11, in exhibition for "Music Festival Week" Sandzen sent to Hays, Kansas

Earned BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts degree)

Summer study at Art Institute of Chicago, stayed at Hull House

Oct 7-15, showed in the McPherson High School Annual Art Exhibition

April5-12, five works in "17th Annual Art


July, joined U.S. Navy, posted as clerk to Detroit, Michigan, studied nights and

from Bethany College


to Fort Hays Normal School, Hays, Kansas

weekends Detroit School of Design

Exhibition" at Bethany College, Sandzen had begun in 1899 to accompany Eastertide Messiah Oratorio concert 1915

July, two paintings in exhibition Sandzen sent

ever did color prints)

Oct 22-28, showed in the McPherson High School Annual Art Exhibition


Oct 14-17, showed in the McPherson High School Annual Art Exhibition


Oct 18, exhibition with Topeka Art Guild at Grace Cathedral Guild Hall



Mention in American Magazine of Art review of 1917 McPherson HS exhibition, Keener's work described "delightful in color, and exceptionally well painted"


Oct 28, Southwestern Exhibition at University of Oklahoma in Norman, including Keener's Wyoming Hifls and five other works


Graduated Bethany College with AB (bachelor's degree)

December, showing of Keener works at the Bethany Book Concern, Lindsborg, Kansas


1920-'21 Taught art in Globe, Arizona, public school


system 1920


March 28-Apr 3, showed in Bethany College annual Eastertide Midwest Art Exhibit

Two paintings in 10th annual McPherson High School Art Exhibition


May 1-8, exhibited in Sandzen show Hays,


Kansas, for Spring Festival

April, in exhibition uwomen's Forum Show of Texas Artists" May, solo exhibition of landscapes hosted by Alpine Women's Study Club

1921-'24 Taught art Kansas City High School, Kansas


City, Kansas

Dec 15, twin daughters Betty Lou and Lou Ann Wilton born Sparks Memorial Hospital, Fort


April9-12, showed in Bethany College an nua I Eastertide Midwest Art Exhi bit

Smith, Arkansas, though Wiltons residing Jackson, Michigan, at time


Meeting of the Bethany College Smoky Hill Art Club, bought Keener's linocut print for the college art collection: The



painting Elephant Mountain joined the Vanderpoel Collection

Peon's Servant, for $5

Awarded bronze medal from Kansas City Art Institute's nMidwestern Artists' Exhibition" annual, graphic arts division, for woodcut (nailcut) Bam on the Hill

November annual exhibition of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, Chicago, and


Solo exhibition in hometown Dalhart, Texas


Oct 15-21, "Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Woodcuts by Anna Elizabeth Keener," sponsored by the Art Association of Kokomo, Indiana


In the 12th annual McPherson High School Annual Art Exhibition


Published Spontaneity in Design, book on educational exercises based on scribbles


Solo exhibition Ball State Teacher's College, Muncie, Indiana


Nov 21, married Louis R. Wilton in hometown Dalhart, Texas


"Exhibition of Oil Paintings, Pastels and


Drawings, Woodblock Prints by Anna E. Keener," Amarillo Parent-Teacher Association, Texas

Feb 2-Mar 1, Kansas City Art Institute "Midwestern Artists' Exhibition" 1933

Feb 15-30, "Exhibition of Paintings ofTexas by Anna E. Keener"at Sartor Galleries in Dallas, Texas, and four paintings in show of "International Association of Women Painters

Two paintings included in "Exposition International Federation of Business and Professional Women," at Stedelyk Museum, Amsterdam


Family moved to New Mexico; resided rest of life

and Sculptors," New York City

1934-'35 Taught at Red River School, annual salary of$605

1925-'27 Taught art Sui Ross Teachers College, Alpine, Texas 1926



July, earned high school certificate teaching


from the State Board of New Mexico

Showed two prints "8th Exhibition of Graphic Arts in New Mexico," and daughter Lou Ann Wilton (also Santa Fe) entered two pencil drawings

1935-'36 Taught Ojo Caliente pub Iic school, an nua I salary of $863

1956-'57 Three paintings in circulating tour organized by 1936-'37 Taught public school in Las Vegas, New Mexico 1938

Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, "Landscape Interpretations by Five New Mexico Artists"

Divorced Louis Wilton

1937-'39 Taught public school in Socorro, New Mexico


Rejoined the American Association of University Women (AAUW), becoming Fine


August, show of New Mexico artists at the

Arts Chairman as well as board member

Gallup Federal Art Center, limited to Indian subjects, and November a solo exhibition of


Portrait taken by Santa Fe photographer Laura Gilpin (1891-1979)


Aug 15-25, two paintings in "All-Lutheran Fine

her paintings held atthe center 1939

Taught in four schools in mining camp

Arts Exhibition" in Minneapolis, Minnesota

communities around Gallup: in Mentmore, Gamerco, Gibson, and Navajo 1942


WPAIFAP mural Zuni Indian Pottery. McKinley

organized Santa Fe's "American Art Week"

County Courthouse, Gallup, NM 1942-'53 Headed art department at Eastern New


Oct 21-23, gave art report during "Schools

Invited to show in Eastertide annual "Midwest Art Exhibition" at Bethany College (begun by Sandzen 1899)

Mexico University, Portales, NM 1943

November as art chairman for the New Mexico chapter of American Artists Professional League


in War Conference" topic for 58th Annual

In "Biennial Exhibition for New Mexico Artists" at Museum of New Mexico

Convention ofthe New Mexico Educational Association, Albuquerque. During 1940s


Keener was often art chairman for the

Annual "Fiesta Show" at the Museum of New Mexico, Three Walk Through the Woods (1956), casein on masonite board, won honorable


mention 1944

Wrote "Art Education, A Vital Program," for the New Mexico School Review


Began regular sales showings at The Paint Pot in Santa Fe, through 1965


March, solo exhibition at Bethany College of


Earned MFA from University of New Mexico


Retired and moved to Sante Fe, established

lithographs, monoprints, caseins, watercolors,

home studio on Cadiz Road

and gouaches



Organized exhibition through AAUW, with six


prints and paintings entered 1959

Chair of New Mexico Federation ofWomen's Clubs, which sponsored the Anna E. Keener Award for membership, at least 1956through 1965

1959 1959

Webb Young and his wife 1963


Painted Jet Age, casein on masonite board, which later displayed in United States Air Force Academy chapel, Colorado Springs


47th "Fiesta Art Exhibit," Wing Patterns, liquitex on masonite, awarded Gallery recognition


Exhibition at New Mexico State Highway Department Building, Santa Fe


In four shows at the Fine Arts Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe


Annual "Fiesta Art Exhibition," Museum of New Mexico


on masonite, won honorable mention 1960

April7-30, "Exhibition of Paintings and Prints by Anna Keener" at Botts Memorial Hall, Albuquerque Public Library

Exhibition at Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce 46th "Fiesta Art Exhibit," Spring (1956), casein

Three months in Mexico with New Mexico artist

"Biennial Exhibition for New Mexico Artists," Museum of New Mexico


Solo exhibition at Credit Union of Los Alamos, New Mexico


Painted all Forest Fantasy Series acrylic on masonite, numbers one through eleven


AprilS, elected by popular vote new president Santa Fe chapter, Artists Equity Association, and immediately began planning New Mexico Arts Council for arts programs in all state's cities

Donated three paintings for prizes to Santa Fe Women's Club &the Library Association


Sent three paintings to exhibition at Coon Memorial Hospital, Dalhart, Texas


Sent Erosion to Museum of New Mexico traveling show, "Santa Fe Moderns"


August-September, annual Fiesta Art Exhibition


November in Artists Equity Association's regional exhibition held Colorado Springs, Colorado


The Goats (1941) lithograph at Museum of New

Mexico, Santa Fe, entered for rental program/ sales gallery. By February 1965, the program folded and all work returned to artists, three paintings back to Keener 1962

Annual Fiesta Art Exhibition, with Untitled collagraph winning honorable mention


Sept 27-0ct 18, "Recent Paintings by Anna E. Keener" atthe Jonson Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Then sent to Los Alamos, Building & Loan Association, Nov 7-28


Exhibition at Jamison Galleries, Santa Fe


Exhibition at St. Michael's College, Santa Fe


August, "Paintings by Anna E. Keener" exhibition Mission Gallery, Taos

1965-70s Donated annotated papers to Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas



Solo exhibition New Mexico Arts Commission,


Santa Fe 1966

Charter member Museum of New Mexico Foundation


Exhibition Mutual Buildings and Loan, Santa Fe


April-June, solo exhibition thirty works New Mexico Arts Commission, Santa Fe

July New Mexico governor David F. Cargo purchased Keener's oil Questa as the SOOth work entered in the "Governor's Committee on Paintings" loan program run by New Mexico Arts Commission

1972 1974

October, exhibition Santa Fe National Bank Sent eight paintings for exhibition to Auto Trading Post, Dalhart, Texas


Behind the Scene {1952) lithograph won purchase award Museum of New Mexico's "5th Annual Graphics Exhibition"


Feb 28, letterfrom author James Michener inviting Keener to join National Society of Literature and the Arts


April, gave painting Bande/ier{depicting Frijoles Canyon ruins) to the museum at


chapter {Santa Fe) of Delta Kappa Gamma

Bandelier National Monument, near Los Alamos, New Mexico 1968

international organization for women educators

April, "44th Annual National Art Exhibit" at Springville High School, Utah


May, nominated Woman ofthe Year by Beta


June 22, died, as naval veteran was buried Sante Fe National Cemetery


November 11, daughter Lou Ann Wilton Hunt

May 25, received Distinguished Alumni Award ofMeritfrom Bethany College, with President's reception at Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery. Keener donated painting Forest Fantasy #9 (Mine Shaft) to Bethany College art collection


Pictograph/Petroglyph Series painted


Began exhibiting annually New Mexico Arts Commission, Santa Fe, thru 1971

died 2013


1968-'69 Seven-state tour "Regional Prints Exhibit" sponsored by Federation of Rocky Mountain States, including Keener's Untitled collagraph 1969

Jan 22, daughter Betty Lou Wilton Pompeo


Sept 13, 2014-Feb 15,2015, "Anna E. Keener Southwestern Regionalist" retrospective

Work in Tucson Jewish Community Center, "First Annual Southwestern Art Exhibition"

exhibition atthe Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas



..a\ re tt-5~ n'\2;1'\ - MEMORIAL GALLERYThe Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery Lindsborg, Kansas

ISBN 978-0-9972826-0-3