For ten years artists and writers gathered at 1718 Holly Street, on the bluffs that looked over the West Bottom financial district of Kansas City, its railroad hub and stockyards. A patron of the arts, Gertrude Woolf supported the 1896 Paint Club, under George Van Millet, served as a trustee of the Kansas City Art Institute, and was a donor of the Nelson-Atkins Museum. The Lighton Studio she founded helped women artists promote their art.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Works of Promise, 1918, Kansas City
Before the Society organized in 1921, Kansas City artists were students at the Fine Arts institute. This article was in the Journal Post, April 10, 1918. Students whose names would appear later on the Lighton studio roster are highlighted in blue.
Interesting bits of local color are evident in the exhibit of 37 paintings by art students and local Kansas City artists now on display at the Fine Art institute. One of these is a painting of Miss Amorette Root, daughter of Walter C. Root, 4345 Locust street, which is a study in effective use of color. Miss Root is wearing a blue smock, of a shade similiar to her eyes. Alfred H. Clark is the painter.
Walter A. Bailey, one of the promising students of the institute, has effectively pictured the West Bottoms (before the fire) and F. M. Benedict has done "A Foggy Day in the Kaw."
Miss Ilah Marian Kibbey, 3008 East Thirty-second street, has in the exhibit her first picture, "Isabel,"a study which shows promise, the judges said. She was awarded an honorable mention.
For poetry and fine execution, two paintings by Charles A Willmovsky, one of the teachers at the institute, surpass all other exhibits.
His "Boats," a wood cut, and an etching, "Houses, Provincetown," have the same elusive quality which are distinctive to this artist.
Although it is entitled "Snow and Sunshine," Birger Sandzen's painting of that name gives little evidence of either to the unaccustomed eye. He has done also "Twilight in the Mountains" which is mostly twilight and another of the big, slashing conceptions of the nature wonders of Colorado in "In the Rocky Mountain National Park."
Bertha Venanzi-Rockwell, the Kansas City girl who married an Italian artist, Venanzi, has one picture with considerable local color. It is "Westport," a small frame house of uncertain architecture which is like several which still stand in that part of Kansas City, made historic by battles in the Civil war.
A new artist has come into the display this year, John Frazier, an instructor of the University of Kansas, with a painting, two etchings and two pencil drawings, all well drawn and well destailed. He won the O.H. (?) prize of $50. for his pencil drawing "The Smithy."
L.L. Balcom has done the Blu (?) with the most startling exactitude seems to the spectator familiar the steep banks, overhanging willows and narrow, curving water and banks.
Mrs. Charles Beach Allen, another Kansas City artist, has two paintings, her style somewhat resembling Sandzen. "A Street Scene in Havana, Cuba," is one and "Salvia" another.
Mrs Fern I Coppedge of Topeka on the $100 prize offered by Edwin W. Shields on her painting, "Winter Morning."
(article courtesy of Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, 14 West 10th St, Kansas City, MO, accessed March 2011)