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An example of work by Alice Eliza Cleaver
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|One of Nebraska's most noted artists as a figure painter, Alice Cleaver
had a a strong academic background and a distinguished career in the
fine arts. For her era, she led a Bohemian life as an artist, but
her later years were constrained by family demands.|
She was born
in Racine, Wisconsin, and the family moved to Nebraska where her father
was the bookkeeper for many years in the Nebraska State Senate, and her
mother was a teacher and botanist.
She graduated from Falls
City, Nebraska High School and studied art with Cora Parker at the
University of Nebraska followed by a four-year enrollment on
scholarship at the Chicago Art Institute. She was a student there
of John Vanderpoel, and some of her paintings are a part of the
Vanderpoel Collection in Chicago. In Philadelphia at the Academy of
Fine Arts, she was a student of William Chase and Cecilia Beaux.
1905 and 1908, Santa Fe Railroad personnel commissioned her to go on
two trips to New Mexico and Arizona to produce paintings of the
Indians, and she completed seven works for the Santa Fe
collection. The largest and most striking was hung at the El
Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon. She spent much time at the Isleta,
New Mexico pueblo where she did many paintings of pueblo life that were then
exhibited in Santa Fe Railway offices as well as at El Tovar.
Paris, she continued her studies in 1913 and 1914 with Lucien Simon and
Louis Biloul and returned to the United States in 1914 on one of the
last ships departing France just as World War I was beginning.
She continued her career by living in Nebraska, and remaining a
resident of Falls City. She also became an accomplished violinist and
violin teacher and studied music at the University of Nebraska and at
Chicago Music College. Late in her life, she became a successful
She never married but is thought to have had a long-term relationship with Vachel Lindsay. In one of her paintings, Cast Room, she used him, a well-known poet, as a model, and in one of his stories, The Lady Poverty,
he based the heroine on Cleaver. It was said that the two had a
frustrated love affair that was broken up by her father. In the 1970s,
a package of unopened correspondence from Lindsay to Cleaver was found
in the attic of the family house, seemingly hidden away so that she
would not see it.
Stephanie Strass, American Women Artists
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West"
Sharon Gustafson, "Early Nebraska Women Artists"
|Biography from Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery Santa FeTucson:|
|Alice Cleaver was born in 1878 in Falls City, Nebraska, daughter of an insurance salesman and former homesteader. She studied art at the University of Nebraska, Art Institute of Chicago, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While still a student in Philadelphia in the early 1900's, Cleaver traveled to Arizona and New Mexico in order to paint the lifestyle and surroundings of the Pueblo Indians. In order to travel, she would often exchange her paintings for rail fare.|
After finishing her studies, Cleaver lived in Paris from 1913-1914, exhibiting her work and seemingly beginning a promising career as a painter. However, she returned to Falls City in 1914 under pressure from overbearing parents. She remained close to home for the rest of her life, teaching art and music and continuing to paint a little, but her career was certainly over.
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