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 Elanor Ruth Eaton Gump Colburn  (1866 - 1939)

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois/Ohio      Known for: Impressionist figure and landscape painting, dynamic symmetry

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Elanor (Eleanor) Eaton is primarily known as Elanor Ruth Eaton Gump Colburn

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Elanor Ruth Gump Colburn
from Auction House Records.
Bathing Baby
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Dayton, Ohio, and growing up there, Elanor Colburn studied at the Art Institute of Chicago a total of eight years, and also served for one year, 1900, as an assistant teacher.  In addition she studied with William Merritt Chase and Frank Duveneck. 

She remained active in Chicago until 1924, when she moved to Laguna Beach, California with her well-known artist daughter, Ruth Eaton Peabody.  They built a studio on the South Coast Highway where they lived, painted and taught.  In 1927, having recovered from some prolonged spells of illness, she resumed her painting career with seriousness, and having developed an interest in Native American culture, began traveling for subjects including to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.  She also painted in Palm Springs, (Primordial Days in Palm Springs); New Mexico (In the Pueblo) and among the Navajos (In the Hogan) and (The Navajo).

Her style is described as "evolving from a type of Impressionism to Dynamic Symmetry".  It differed from the usual definition of Impressionism because it had more abstract forms, often geometric. 

Because of two marriages and also using her maiden name, she is listed with a variety of names:  Eleanor Eaton (1886-1890); Eleanor Gump (1895-1896); Eleanor Colburn (1900-1903). In 1927, she changed the spelling of her first name to Elanor. Her first husband had the last name of Eaton and was the father of her daughter.  Her second husband was Joseph Elliott Colburn, an opthamologist and artist, and she continued using his name even though they divorced in 1915.

Colburn became a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association, which she served as Director from 1926 to 1929, and was also a member of the San Diego Art Guild and the Painters and Sculptors Club of Los Angeles.   Exhibition venues included the Cincinnati Art Museum, Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego and the John Herron Institute in Indianapolis.

Elanor Colburn died in Laguna Beach on May 7, 1939.

Source:
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Dayton, Ohio in February 1866, Elanor Colburn studied with Wm Chase, Frank Duveneck, and at the AIC where she later taught.  Early in life her married name was Eaton but in 1898 she wed Joseph Colburn.  Both marriages ended in divorce.

She and her daughter, Ruth Eaton Peabody, moved to Laguna Beach in 1924 and built a studio on the South Coast Highway where they lived, painted, and taught.  Her early works were Impressionist in style, mainly portraits and mother-and-child subjects; after 1927 she constantly experimented with new art idioms including Dynamic Symmetry (the juxtaposition of volumes upon space).

In 1927 she dropped the internal "e" from her name and then signed her paintings, "Elanor Colburn."

The artist died in Laguna Beach on May 7, 1939.

Member: Laguna Beach AA (director, 1926-29); San Diego Art Guild. Exh: Chicago Municipal Art League, 1908 (purchase prize); Laguna Beach AA, 1927-32 (medals); Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1928; LACMA, 1929 (solo); San Diego, 1930 (prize); SFMA Inaugural, 1935; Calif. WC Society, 1936-38; San Diego FA Gallery, 1939 (memorial); Laguna Museum, 1984.

In: Chicago Municipal Art League; Columbus Gallery of FA; Gallery of Toronto; Minn. Inst. of Arts; Orange Co. (CA) Museum; Omaha Art Inst.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
The West as Art; American Art Annual 1919-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-39; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Women Artists of the American West; Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); So. Calif. Artists, 1890-1940; South Coast News, 5-9-1939 (obituary).
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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