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Fern Knecht

 (1888 - 1979)
Fern Elizabeth Edie Knecht was active/lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska / Mexico.  Fern Knecht is known for building, portrait, village and city views and landscape painting.

Fern Knecht

Biography from the Archives of askART

Born Du Bois, NB, Dec. 8, 1888; died Georgetown, TX, Jan. 17, 1979. Painter, specialized in architecture, portraits, townscapes. Poet. Grew up in Lawrence; graduated from the University of Kansas, Lawrence in 1911; also studied at St. Louis School of Fine Arts from 1922-24. Studied with W. A. Griffith at University of Kansas, Lawrence and with Robert Henri at the Art Students League from 1915-17. Pupil of John Carlson and Charles Hawthorne, 1926-27. Married in 1917 to an engineering consultant and traveled widely in Mexico and South America. Lived in Little Rock, AR, Redwood City, CA, and Georgetown, TX.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Sain, Lydia. Kansas Artists, compiled by Lydia Sain from 1932 to 1948. Typed Manuscript, 1948.; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-194714/18/20/22/26; Dawdy 2: Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Volume 2. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1981.; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47.1; Annual Exhibition of the Artists of Kansas City and Vicinity (Kansas City Art Institute, 1915-21) 1915, 1917, 1920-21; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition (Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute, 1920-1942 Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas. s.l. Mines, 1979.) 1922-23; AskArt,, accessed Dec. 16, 2005; Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998..

This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from American Eagle Fine Art
Fern Elizabeth Knecht, the daughter of Marshall and Elizabeth Edie, grew up from an early age in Lawrence, KS.  Determined to become a painter, she attended the University of Kansas, Lawrence, as an art major (1907-1911).  After graduating, she studied at the ASL's summer school at Woodstock, NY (1912), and at its main campus in New York with George Bridgman (1914-1915), and John Fabian Carlson. Married in 1916 to Herman D. Knecht, a fellow alumnus of the University of Kansas and a civil engineer, she continued her studies at the School of Fine Arts of Washington Universtity, St. Louis (1922-1924).

During much of Knecht's St. Louis residency, which continued into the 1930's, and her early years in Little Rock, AR, she frequented Taos, New Mexico.  There she studied portraiture with Ernest Blumenschein.  After leaving Little Rock during World War II, she traveled with her husband on assignments for the federal government, spending one and a half years in South America.  Returning to Little Rock in 1947, she remained a resident until settling in Redwood City, CA (1957).  In the late 1960's she moved to the Wesleyan Retirement Home, Georgetown.

Knecht painted buildings, portraits, village scenes, city views, marines, and landscapes and, in total completed about 3,000 canvases.  Her nonwestern work resulted from stays in such places as New York, Gloucester, Provincetown (where she studied with Charles W. Hawthorne), and Cape Cod, MA; St. Louis; Little Rock; Mexico; Columbia, and Ecuador.  Her western output began with studies of Lawrence and its environs, and later included glimpses of the landscapes, natives and old adobes of Taos and vicinity as well as scenes in Texas and California.

The artist hung works in juried shows at the National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, during the 1930's.  She also exhibited at the Kansas City Art Institute, MO; St. Louis Art Guild; Midwestern Artists annuals, Kansas City, MO; Witte Museum, San Antonio; and Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM.  She had one person exhibitions at the Little Rock Art Museum; St. Louis School of Fine Arts (1942), and Southwestern University, Georgetown (1977).

She additionally exhibited in the Edgar B. Davis competitions of 1929, San Antonio, TX, as noted in Texas Art and a Wildcatter's Dream, by William E. Reaves, Jr., page 82 & 83.

Knecht, who executed murals for the public library and Woman's City Club, Little Rock (1936), taught art briefly at Little Rock Junior College in the mid 1930's.

An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, by Kovinick, Phil; Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, 1998, pages 176-177.

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About  Fern Knecht

Born:  1888 - DuBois, Nebraska
Died:   1979 - Georgetown, Texas
Known for:  building, portrait, village and city views and landscape painting

Essays referring to
Fern Knecht

Taos pre-1940