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 Ethel May Klinck Myers  (1881 - 1960)

About: Ethel May Klinck Myers
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts      Known for: social-realist sculpture, ceramics, painter

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A figurative sculptor and art activist in New York City, Ethel Myers is known for her caricature bronzes of city people, many of them in humorous poses.   She exhibited nine of them in the 1913 Armory Show that introduced modernist art to America, and according to art historian Charlotte Rubinstein: "It is now clear tht Myers was one of the most creative of the Americans who exhibited at the Armory Show." (169).   However, she married painter Jerome Myers, and subjegated her career to his, which meant she did not receive her deserved recognition during her lifetime.

She was born with the name Lillian Cochran and was raised by Michael and Alfarata Orr Klinck, who adopted her and named her May Ethel Klinck.  She studied in New York City at the Chase School, renamed the New York School of Art between 1898 and 1904 and later served as teacher and Assistant Director there.  Under the influence of Robert Henri, she became a social-realist painter, focused on the harsh realities of life of lower class people in New York City.  She shared this interest with her husband, whom she married in 1905.

After her marriage, she switched to the sculpture that became her signature work, and she also helped support her family by designing clothes and hats for women celebrities.  Following her husband's death in 1940, she spent much time promoting his memory through lecture tours and running the Jerome Myers Memorial Gallery in New York City.  From 1949 to 1959, when she retired from the gallery, she resumed her own art work and served as Director of Art and Ceramics for a settlement house, Christodora House.  During this time she worked with glazed terra-cotta.

Exhibition venues of her work include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy, Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney Museum.


Source:
Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists, p. 169-170
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, p. 2378

Biography from Heckscher Museum:
Ethel Myers, was born 08/23/1881, and died 05/24/1960. Between 1898 and 1904 she studied at the Chase School and the New York School of Art. Her work concentrated on depicting characters of the Lower East Side. She exhibited at The National Academy of Design, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy, The Brooklyn Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art; she had one-man shows at Folsom, Beilin and Knoedler Galleries.

Nine of her pieces were in the Armory Show of 1913. After her marriage to Jerome Myers in 1905, she began making small sculptures, which included some commissioned pieces by society people.  Besides doing fashion design, she was also the assistant director of The New York School of Art.

The Robert Schoelkopf Gallery exhibited oils and bronzes of her work in a show in 1963.


Source:
Most of the information derived from the pamphlet accompanying this exhibit.
Heckscher Museum of Art

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Ethel Myers is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
New York Armory Show of 1913

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