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 Joan Beers Poppe  (1886 - 1969)

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Lived/Active: New York/South Carolina      Known for: fashion illustration, landscape and child portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Joan Beers Poppe (1886 - 1969)
Joan Poppe, originally from the Central New York area, studied art at the Pratt Institute*, the Art Students League* and the Indianapolis Art School.  She was the children's fashion artist for McCall's Magazine for 25 years.  Her talent for painting and drawing children led to a commission to create six of the eight character/game pieces in the Selchow & Righter board game, The Little Colonel, one of many merchandise spin-offs from the Shirley Temple movie of the same name that premiered in 1935.  

Joan Poppe first came to South Carolina in connection with a commission to paint the children of a Union, SC, family; their hospitality and the Piedmont's climate triggered her retirement from McCalls' and her maintaining a home in the Spartanburg area as well as a studio and home in Glenora, NY, overlooking Seneca Lake. 

In 1951, she taught art at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in Cedar Spring.  One of her students reported she liked magnolias more than the lights of Broadway.  In 1953, she won the first place award for pastels*, prints and drawings at the Piedmont Interstate Fair. 

She was a member of the Spartanburg Artists Guild and exhibited frequently in its shows.  A versatile artist, her work included pastel portraits of children, landscapes and a drawing for a local 1959 calendar.  In 1962, one of her landscapes was included in the Guild's Artists Choice Exhibit at the Woford College Art Gallery. 

Her works were in The Four Plus One, an exhibit of works by four women artists and one male, at the Charlotte, NC, public library and later at the Greenville County (SC) Museum of Art.    She also exhibited in New York including at the Glenora Music and Art Festival in 1955.  On her death, she left three children and four great grandchildren.
Submitted by John A. McKinney, Jr.

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