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Grace John

 (1890 - 1972)
Grace Spaulding John was active/lived in Texas, California, Michigan.  Grace John is known for landscape, portrait and still life painting, printmaking, illustration.

Grace John

Biography from The Heritage Society

Grace Spaulding John was born February 10, 1890, in Battle Creek, Michigan.  She moved to Beaumont, Texas at age 13.  It was a time when oil was discovered, and her father became the editor of the Beaumont Enterprise.

Her first art lessons were from Penelope Lingan of Beaumont and later Houston.   John was sent to study at the Chicago Art Institute*, the Art Students League* in New York City, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art*.

She returned to Texas and married the great-grandson of Sam Houston, Alfred Morgan John, a prominent Houston attorney.  Grace Spaulding John was one of the first artists to have a solo showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

John was known for her oils, lithographs, etchings, watercolors, true Italian Frescoes, linoleum and wood block prints.  She was also a recognized poet.  Three books of poetry were published and illustrated with her line drawings.

Examples of her work may be found in many national galleries including the Smithsonian and Museum of the City of New York.

John was known as "One of the most colorful artists of the twenties."(Fresh Paint 1985).  She organized the first professional artists gallery in Houston.   Headquartered in the basement of of the Beaconsfield Hotel on Main Street, the Houston Artists' Gallery opened in November 1930.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store
Painter. Born in Battle Creek, Ml on Feb. 10, 1890. Grace Spaulding settled in Beaumont, TX about 1905. After graduatiang from Beaumont High School, she studied at the St Louis School of Fine Art, AIC, NAD, with Hawthorne, Garber, and Weber. In 1921 she wed attorney Alfred John and maintained a studio in Houston for the rest of her life; however, she had studios at various times in San Francisco (1930s), New York and Roanoke, VA. She died in Houston on July 22, 1972. Exh: Rice University (Houston), 1920, 1921, 1964, (solos); PAFA, 1923; Highland Park Museum (Dallas), 1928; CPLH, 1933; Century of Progress Expo (Chicago), 1933; Oakland Art Gallery, 1933, 1935 (solo); LACMA, 1935, 1938 (solos); Houston Museum, 1936 (solo); San Francisco Art Association, 1940; San Diego FA Gallery, 1965. In: NMAA; Houston Public Library and City Hall (murals). WWAA 1936-70; KOV; Texas Painters (Powers); Houston Post, 7-23-1972 (obit).

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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About  Grace John

Born:  1890 - Battle Creek, Michigan
Died:   1972 - probably Houston, Texas
Known for:  landscape, portrait and still life painting, printmaking, illustration

Essays referring to
Grace John

Taos pre-1940