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Pauline Palmer
'Sunny Afternoon', Chicago Impressionist, Paris, Grande Chaumiére, Woman Artist

Circa 1915

About the Item

Signed lower left, 'Pauline Palmer' (American, 1867-1938) and painted circa 1915, two years after the artist's first solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibited: Chicago Galleries Association and titled, 'Sunny Yards' (attached, partial label from original frame) A staunch proponent of pure Impressionism at the turn of the twentieth century, Pauline Palmer influenced the world of American art far beyond her Midwestern art community. Primarily known for her landscapes and portraits, Palmer rejected the waves of modernism that hit the United States in the teens and twenties, remaining true to the traditions of Impressionism. In 1923, she established the Association of Chicago Painters and Sculptors as an alternative to the increasing number of institutions celebrating Abstraction and Cubism. Pauline Palmer was enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1893 to 1898, and studied with some of the most prominent artists of the period, including William Merritt Chase and Frank Duveneck. Following her graduation, Palmer moved to Paris and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumiére and the Académie Colarossi, where she studied under Raphael Collin. While in France, she exhibited with success including at the Paris Salon each year from 1903-06 and, again, in 1911. Her principal teacher and friend in Paris was the American Impressionist, Richard Emil Miller, whose shimmering handling of light made a profound impression upon her. Palmer also traveled extensively throughout Europe, a rite of passage for aspiring artists of her time. Returning to Paris, she studied with Gustave Courtois and Lucien Simon, both exemplars of compositional structure. Upon her return to the United States, Palmer set up her first American studio in the legendary Tree Studios building in Chicago. The artist's husband, Dr. Albert Palmer, whom she had married in 1891, both supported and encouraged his wife's artistic development. The couple kept a summer home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she made friends with many of the Portuguese fishermen's families, often using their children and the routines of their daily lives as subject matter for her painting. Pauline Palmer exhibited widely and with success, including in Italy, France, Norway and throughout the United States. Her works were shown at the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors and, beginning in 1899, she exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago for twenty-seven consecutive years. Over the course of her long career, she exhibited over 250 paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, including at two solo exhibitions. She was the recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards including nearly all the AIC's major awards, purchase prizes and honorable mention citations. Palmer also received a gold medal from the Colarossi Academy in Paris. Involved in numerous artist organizations, she was a member of the Chicago Municipal Art League, the Chicago Art Guild, the Chicago Arts Club and a charter member of the Chicago Women's Salon. Elected the first woman president of the Chicago Society of Artists, she went on to serve as president of both the Art Institute Alumni Association and the Chicago Association of Painters and Sculptors. Considered by the Modernists of her day to be a traditionalist, Pauline Palmer remained true to her artistic vision and she continues to be regarded as one of the leading women of American Impressionism. Her light-filled, colorful compositions captured landscapes and scenes of American daily life with unusual freshness and seeming effortlessness. Celebrated during her life as "Chicago's Painter Lady," Palmer was honored twelve years after her death by a posthumous retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and the establishment of an annual scholarship awarded in her honor by the Art Institute of Chicago. (with thanks to Hali Thurber) CHRONOLOGY 1867, Born in McHenry, IL 1885, Moves to Chicago to teach art 1891, Marries Dr. Albert Elwood Palmer 1893, Exhibits, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1896, First exhibits at the Art institute of Chicago 1898, Exhibits at Exposition in Omaha, NE 1899, First exhibit, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1900-1902, Studies with various artists in Paris 1901, Exhibits at Exposition in Buffalo 1903-1906, Exhibits at Paris Salon 1904, Exhibits at Universal Exposition in St. Louis, 1907, Four prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago 1911, Exhibits at the Paris Salon 1911, Exhibits at the Expositione de Belle Arti, Naples 1913, Solo exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago 1915, First prize, Society of Western Artists 1917, Opens first American studio in Chicago 1918, First woman president, Chicago Society of Artists 1918-1929, holds position of president for 11 years 1918-1921, Silver medals, Society of Chicago Artists 1921, Silver medal at Peoria Society of Allied Artists 1927, President, The Art Institute Alumni Association 1929-1931, President, Chicago Association of Painters and Sculptors 1938, Dies, Trondheim, Norway AWARDS 1904, Universal Exposition in St. Louis, bronze medal 1907, Art Institute 's Chicago Artists' Exhibition 1915, Society of Western Artists exhibition, first prize 1918, Society of Chicago Artists, silver medal 1921, Peoria Society of Allied, silver medal Solo Exhibitions: 1913, Art Institute of Chicago 1939, Art Institute of Chicago, memorial exhibition Union League Club of Chicago, memorial exhibition Group Exhibitions: 1893, World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1896, Art institute of Chicago 1898, Exposition in Omaha, NE 1899, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1899-1926, Art Institute of Chicago 1901, Exposition in Buffalo 1903-06 Paris Salon 1904, Universal Exposition in St. Louis 1911, Paris Salon 1911, Expositione de Belle Arti, Naples 1915, Exposition in San Francisco 1950, Chicago Galleries Association 1984, Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria Memberships: 1918-29, First woman President,Chicago Society of Artists 1927, President of The Art Institute Alumni Association 1929-31, President of Chicago Association of Painters and Sculptors Reference: E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. X, page 523; Thieme-Becker Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zu Gengenwart, Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 1992, Vol. XXVI, page 129; Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Peter Hastings Falk, Sound View Press 1999, Vol. III, page 2512; Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, Glen B. Opitz, Apollo Press 1983, page 708; Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers of the U.S.: Colonial to 2002, Bob Creps, Dealer’s Choice Books, Inc. 2002, Vol. II, page 1047; Mallett’s Index of Artists, Daniel Trowbridge Mallett, Peter Smith: New York 1948 Edition, R.R. Bowker Company 1935, page 326; Pauline Lennards Palmer. Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago: September 19-October 18, 2002; Pauline Palmer: American Impressionist. Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences; et al.
  • Creator:
    Pauline Palmer (1867 - 1938, American)
  • Creation Year:
    Circa 1915
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 19.75 in (50.17 cm)Width: 23.75 in (60.33 cm)Depth: 0.13 in (3.31 mm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    age-appropriate toning, minor restoration, minor losses, minor corner bumping; unframed; shows well.
  • Gallery Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU34413821852
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