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 Cordelia Creigh Wilson  (1876 - 1953)

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Lived/Active: Colorado/Washington      Known for: southwest landscape and floral still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Cordelia Creigh Wilson   (1876 – 1953)
 
Cordelia Creigh Wilson was a painter noted for her landscapes of New Mexico and the American Southwest.  She was born in Georgetown, Clear Creek County, Colorado.  Her father died in her early childhood, and she was raised by her mother, Emma (Webb) Creigh who shuttled the family between Winfield, Kansas and Colorado.  Cordeilia married Willard Wilkinson in Boulder, Colorado in 1897 and gave birth to her only child, Louise, in Hayden the next year.  The couple divorced shortly after the turn of the century.
 
Cordelia then began to seriously develop her skills as an artist motivated by latest trends in American realism lead by Robert Henri.  Her academic training emphasized development of an alla prima technique and painting out of doors, which inspired her to produce bold impasto works quickly.  She started making road trips to New Mexico and became friends with painters in the Taos Society of Artists and the Santa Fe art colony.  Her numerous expressive oil sketches and en plein air canvases of adobe dwellings and rugged landscapes caught the attention of art dealers.
 
Before the end of the First World War, Cordelia married John H. Wilson.  They settled on Tremont Street in Denver, just around the corner from the J. Gibson Smith Gallery which displayed and sold her works.  Many of her paintings had frames she hand-carved in rustic Arts and Crafts style and gilded with sheets of gold leaf.
 
By 1917 Cordelia Wilson was honored by having two paintings selected for inclusion at the inaugural exhibition of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.  The show featured easel works by George Bellows, Robert Henri, F. Martin Hennings, and Leon Kroll, who were working in the Southwest at that time, along with the “Taos Six” (Oscar Berninghaus, Ernest Blumenschein, Irving Couse, Herbert Dunton, Bert Geer Phillips, and Joseph Henry Sharp) and other members of the Taos Society.  One of her paintings exhibited in the show, A Mexican Hone, was reproduced in the January-February 1918 issue of the journal Art and Archaeology that featured a cover article about the museum’s opening.
 
Her husband acquired tuberculosis, so the couple decided to move to the Pacific Northwest for his treatment at a sanatorium after 1930.  Cordelia resided in West Seattle until her death, producing still life’s, florals, and scenes of the Puget Sound region, although she continued to periodically travel, work and display her art in the Southwest. 

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian, East Lansing, Michigan
 
 
Biography posted on Wikipedia.   
 


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