(1889 - 1972)
Madge Tennent was active/lived in Hawaii, California. Madge Tennent is known for figure-Islander, portrait painting.
A renowned art educator as well as painter of modern figurative canvases of Hawaiian subjects, Madge Tennent had a distinguished career based primarily in Hawaii from where she sent paintings to the mainland United States for exhibitions in New York City and Chicago between 1930 and 1939.
She also exhibited in London at the Wertheim Gallery, in Paris at the Bernheim-Jeune Galleries, and in Honolulu at the Academy of Arts and the Grossman-Moody Gallery. Her most remarkable exhibit was in 1945 at Gump's Department Store in Waikiki where she showed drawings in sepia wash and ink. Shortly after that, she abandoned her professional painting career but lived to age eighty two in 1972.
She received her early training at the Academie Julian in Paris and as a result of exposure to French artists later said that the three great inspirations of her life were Renoir, Picasso, and Gauguin, but Renoir more than the others.
As a young woman, she was director of the Government School of Art at Johannesburg, South Africa, and from 1913 to 1915 taught at her own school in Cape Town. After marriage to Hugh Cowper Tennent from New Zealand, she became the head of the art school in Invercargill and then followed her husband to Samoa. In 1923, she first visited Hawaii, and she and her family decided to stay. She regarded the Hawaiians as some of the most beautiful people in the world and painted them with great reverence and respect.
Since 2005, much of her work is housed at Isaacs Art Center at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
Born in Dulwich, England on June 22, 1889. "Madge" Cook was considered a child prodigy and at 13 studied in Paris at Académie Julian under William Bouguereau. She married Hugh Tennent in 1915 and in 1923 settled in Hawaii. During the 1930s she made trips to the mainland and was active in California.
Mrs. Tennent died in Honolulu on Feb. 5, 1972. Upon her death the Hawaiian legislature paid tribute to her with a resolution. She is best remembered for her paintings of Hawaiian women.
Exh: California Palace Legion of Honor, 1932; Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles, 1937.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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