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 Martella Cone Lane  (1875 - 1962)

About: Martella Cone Lane
 

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Lived/Active: California/Iowa      Known for: portrait, still life, animal and tree painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Martella Lane
Facts/Data
Birth
1875 (Albia, Iowa)
 
Death
1962 (Whittier, California)

Lived/Active
California/Iowa

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portrait, still life, animal and tree painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From Albia, Iowa, Martella Cone Lane became a painter especially noted for the redwood trees of northern California.  She was the youngest of five children in a family supported by a father who was a minister.  In 1890, when she was fifteen, her family moved to Hollister, California, but she remained in the Midwest to attend Cotner College in Lincoln, Nebraska.  In 1895, she had earned a diploma in art, and in 1931, the College bestowed an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree upon her.

She studied briefly at Drake University in Des Moines and then went to northern California and married George Robert Lane in 1899.  The couple moved to Fortuna, and she taught art privately and at Fortuna Union High School.  In 1927, she went to southern California where she taught art at Chapman College and also taught adult classes. 

Her early paintings were portraits, animals and still lifes, but after taking a break from her painting to raise four children, in 1908, she again took up her brushes and this time turned to the redwood trees for her subjects.  Shortly after that recognition came including in 1912, when she won an award at the California state fair and when the Kanst Gallery in Los Angeles began a long-term association.   In 1915, representatives of Humboldt County, submitted Cone's painting, Monarch of the Forest, owned by the county, to the Panama Pacific Exposition.  Also a well-known calendar publisher, the Thomas D. Murphy of Red Oak, Iowa, commissioned redwood paintings from Lane.

By 1920, she was well prominently linked to the 'big trees', and she, realizing they were in jeapardy of being destroyed, began years of service with the Save the Redwoods League.  She traveled widely to speak to groups, and in 1923, as recognition for her good service, the State Forestry Service gave her land for a studio among the redwoods.

In 1927, Lane moved to Southern California and continued to paint trees but also did many seascape easel paintings and did murals.   She traveled to surrounding states including Arizona, Colorado and Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City has one of her paintings.

In the early 1950s, she lived in Whittier and quit painting because of a stroke.  She died there in 1962.  Eureka, California, in redwood country, has paintings by Martella Cone in the Carnegie Library and Clarke Memorial Library.


Source:
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
A painter and art teacher, known especially for her redwood tree landscape scenes, Martella Cone Lane was born in Albia, Iowa on April 16, 1875.  Martella Cone lived in Iowa until 1890 when she moved with her family to Hollister, CA.

After graduating from Cotner College in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1895, she further studied in San Francisco with William Keith and at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute.  She wed George Lane in 1899 and settled in Fortuna, CA where she taught in the public schools.

Her painting forte was depictions of the redwoods near her home there.  When not active as an artist, she lectured for the Save the Redwoods League.  In 1927 she moved to southern California and taught in the public schools of Los Angeles and at Chapman College.

During this period she was a pupil of Franz Bischoff and John Gamble.

Mrs. Lane died in Whittier, CA on Feb. 14, 1962.

Exhibitions:
California State Fair, 1912 (prize); Kanst Gallery (LA), 1912 (solo); Panama Pacific Exposition, 1915; Calif. Pacific Intl Expo, 1916.

Collections:
Eureka (CA) High School; First Christian Church (Fortuna); Clarke Museum (Eureka); General Hospital (LA). American Art Annual, 1925; California State Library
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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