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 Henry Lee McFee  (1886 - 1953)

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Lived/Active: California/Missouri      Known for: still life, figure, modernist landscape

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BIOGRAPHY for Henry McFee
1886 (St. Louis, Missouri)
1953 (Altadena, California)


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still life, figure, modernist landscape

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San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
California Painters
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Henry Lee McFee was born in St Louis, MO on April 14, 1886. McFee graduated from Kemper Military School in 1905. He was a student at the ASL in NYC. During the 1920s and 1930s he divided his time between Woodstock, NY and Los Angeles. He taught at the Chouinard Art School in the 1920s, and from 1939 taught figure and still-life painting at Claremont College. McFee died in Altadena, CA on March 19, 1953.

Member: Nat'l Inst. of Arts & Letters; Associate of the National Academy of Design.

Exh: McDowell Club, 1911-12; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915; Carnegie Inst., 1923; Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), 1924-28; Art Institute of Chicago, 1929 (prize); Paris Salon, 1937 (gold medal); Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1937 (gold medal); Virginia Museum, 1938 (medal); LA Co. Fair, 1940 (prize), 1949; Chaffey College, 1945.

Works held in public places: Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.); Metropolitan Museum; Whitney Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Brooklyn Museum; Cleveland Museum; Springfield (IL) Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Drawings & Illustrations by Southern California Artists (Wall Moore, Nancy Dustin, et al; Laguna Beach Museum of Art); American Art Annual 1913-33; Henry Lee McFee (Scripps College, 1950); Who's Who in American Art 1936-52.
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A native of St. Louis, Henry McFee studied art at Washington University. In 1908, he studied with Birge Harrison at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York and at the Stevenson Art Center in Philadelphia. His work, carefully crafted still lifes and interiors, began to receive public acclaim from the time he entered painting in the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. In 1941, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Source: Butterfields Auction Catalogue 12/12/2001

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery:
Henry Lee McFee was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1886. Between 1902 and 1905, McFee attended the Kemper Military Academy.  In 1907, he received a large inheritance allowing him to paint full-time. In the Fall of that year, he enrolled in the Stevenson Art School for one year.

Although McFee intended to study art in New York City, he spent two summers attending classes at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York, studying under Birge Harrison.

In November of 1913, McFee exhibited six works at the MacDowell Club, and in 1920 his work was shown at the Gallerie Georges Petit's International Art Exhibition in Paris.  McFee's his first one-man show was in 1927 at the Rehn Gallery, where he continued exhibiting into the 1940's.

McFee was married to Aileen Fletcher Jones from approximately 1916 until 1936 when he eloped to Savannah with her niece, Eleanor Brown Gutsell.

In 1939 McFee was appointed Director at the Witte Museum School of Art, which was sponsored by the San Antonio Art League, and in 1940-1941 he held positions at the Claremont College and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, California.

McFee's synchromist and cubist influenced works are highly sought after, and his works were exhibited at prestigious venues throughout his career, including the Carnegie Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum.

Henry Lee McFee died in 1953 in California.


Jay Caldwell
The Caldwell Gallery

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