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 Julia McEntee Dillon  (1834 - 1918)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: floral outdoor and still-life painting

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Ad Code: 4
Julia McEntee Dillon
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Julia McEntee Dillon
Primarily a floral painter, Julia Dillon developed her skills over several decades beginning in Clinton, New York where she studied at the Clinton Liberal Institute. Here she met Mary Conkey and Sarah Hutchins, art teachers who encouraged her drawing talents.  Returning to Kingston in her early twenties, she met and married John Dillon, but their marriage was short as John died just a few years later.

Julia remained responsible for administering her late husband's iron foundry business on the Rondout, which was the reservoir for New York City, 75 miles north of the city. At the age of 38 Julia obtained a passport and traveled to Europe to continue her studies. Here she copied Old Masters and studied with Georges Jeannin and Harry Thompson.

Upon returning to Kingston, she often painted in her cousin Jervis' studio on the Rondout, which had been designed by their friend Calvert Vaux. In the 1870's she began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association.

In the 1880's Julia moved into New York City and painted at the famed 10th Street Studio Building, and continued exhibiting.  In 1882, she illustrated The Artist's Year, a book of poems and drawings.

Exhibitions included:
National Academy 1876-1892
Brooklyn art Association 1876-86
Boston Art Club 1879-85
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine art 1880 and 1881
Columbian Exhibition 1892 in Chicago; here she won a prize for her painting Morning Glories
Art Institute of Chicago 1894
Newark Museum "Women Artists" 1965
Ulster County Historical Society 1987
Friends of Historic Kingston 2005
In his book Painters of the Humble Truth, still-life art historian William Gerdts wrote of her works:  . . ."some artists paint the form of flowers, others the soul. Julia Dillon was one of the latter."

In 1900 she returned to Kingston and established a studio in one of the oldest homes in the area. Here she taught, painted and became more involved with the local community. She was instrumental in the founding of the Kingston library, an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, several literary clubs and the Ulster Garden Club.

Dillon published a booklet titled, Old Gardens of Kingston in 1915, which provides a present day reader with the love and deep feelings she had for the community, and its connection to the Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains and the art and history they included.
Her signature remained consistent throughout her career. Most often one finds block letters with the initial" J "set closely to the capital" D" with the rest of Dillon printed out.  Some smaller oils, and watercolors, have the J and D connected in almost a monogram.

Submitted by Sanford Levy, who wrote: "All of this information is taken from the catalog that I authored in connection with the 2005 exhibition I curated  at the Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery in Kingston NY."

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Kinston, NY in 1834. Dillon studied in Paris with Henry Thompson and Georges Jeannin.

Exhibited: National Academy of Design, 1876-92; Brooklyn Art Association, 1876-86; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1880-81; Art Institute of Chicago, 1894; San Francisco Art Association, 1900.
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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