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Important Early Chicago Artist Jessie Pixley Lacey French Impressionist Landscape with Women on a Hillside from the Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle-Designed Chicago Home of Emmy-Award Winning Los Angeles-Based Producer Ellen Rakieten with Robert Henry Adams Gallery Provenance
LACEY, Jessie Pixley (American, 1865-1957): "On the Banks", oil/canvas, 15 1/4 x 18 inches (22 x 25 1 3/4 inches framed), unsigned, identified as inventory number E 192 and as ca. 1900 on Robert Henry Adams Fine Art label verso, FredEric's Frame Studio framing label verso. Contemporary gilt Whistler style frame molding with contemporary gilt title plaque.
Provenance includes Ellen Rakieten and Robert Henry Adams, et al. (acquired by a member of our staff from an agent of Ms. Rakieten in Chicago, Summer 2016).
Biography of JESSIE PIXLEY LACEY Jessie Pixley Lacey taught...Art Institute of Chicago...Born in Charlotte, Michigan...enrolled in 1887 at the Art Institute’s school, where she won honors the following two years. In 1895, she went to Paris for instruction in private ateliers and at the popular Académie Julian, sharing a studio with Minerva Chapman. She made additional visits to Europe in the following five years, traveling in Britain, France, and Italy. During that period, she was most active as an exhibitor in Chicago venues, notably the Art Institute’s annual exhibitions. In 1895 the “foreign sketches” she exhibited in the annual show of the Palette Club, a women artists’ organization, were praised as demonstrations of the modern style the “promising young artist” had recently acquired abroad.[i] Her work was included in the world’s fairs in Omaha in 1898 and St. Louis in 1904, as well as the prestigious Paris Salon in 1900. Lacey’s local reputation as a painter was perhaps at its height in 1902, when eleven of her works were displayed in the Art Institute’s Chicago artists’ annual, including several of subjects she found in the picturesque French coastal town of Étaples. Lacey, noted the Chicago Chronicle, “has been one of the especially honored ones in the institute, not only by having had her pictures purchased but by having had more paintings accepted by the jury than is the fortune of most of the exhibitors.”[ii]...Art Institute’s alumni association...vice-president between 1918 and 1924...served on exhibition juries. Few of her paintings are extant, but titles of her exhibited works indicate that Lacey painted landscapes and genre works as well as portraits....final appearance in an Art Institute annual, the 1912 Chicago artists’ show...briefly maintained a downtown studio in the new Fine Arts Building in 1899 and 1900...[i] “In the Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, Dec. 15, 1895...[ii]Chicago Chronicle, Feb. 24, 1902, in AIC Scrapbooks, v. 15. --Edited from M. Christine Schwartz Collection site
Jessie Lacey was born in Charlotte, Michigan in 1865. Her art studies began at the Art Institute of Chicago. In Paris she was one of the many American students of Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury. In addition, she studied under Charles Lasar, who would have introduced her to plein air painting. At one point, Lacey discovered Etaples and Auvers-sur-Oise. It seems likely that Lacey would have been part of the group of artists who gathered at Etaples, including Myron Barlow who was there in the 1890s. She must have kept a low profile, however, since there is no record of her activities there (Jean-Claude Lesage, Peintres Américains en Pas-de-Calais, 2007, found no evidence of her working at Etaples). Barlow was the self-proclaimed senior member of the group. Max Bohm worked in the area and established his own school there in 1898. Barlow, Bohm and Lacey all preceded Henry O. Tanner, who went there later in 1904 and founded with others the Société Artistique de Picardie. In 1900 Lacey had one work on display at the Paris Salon. Back in Chicago, she lived in Evanston, now Chicago's first suburb to the north, and began exhibiting her works at the Art Institute (1897 to 1912). The titles indicate that she was interested in landscape, portraits, and genre scenes. Lacey also exhibited at the St. Louis Universal Exposition in 1904, and in galleries in New York and Washington, DC. She began teaching at the Art Institute in 1910...--Edited from submission by Richard H. Love and Michael Preston Worley, Ph.D. to the AskArt archive...Note: Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher in East Lansing, Michigan also via AskArt places her birth at 1863 and cites attendence at Olivet College in 1880-81 with a sister as well as at the Music Conservatory 1881-1882.
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