| Lulah Llan Evans is primarily known as Dulah Marie Llan Evans Krehbiel
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An example of work by Lulah Llan Evans
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Dulah Llan Evans was born February 17, 1875, to pioneer residents of
Oskaloosa, Iowa, David and Marie Ogg Evans. She was brought up,
along with her sister, Mayetta, and two brothers, Walter and
Carl, in a low rambling house of many rooms that was reminiscent
of the homes of Lanidloes, Wales, where her father was from. David
Evans, a well-educated man, was the architect and builder of the Evans
Building, which stands to this day on the main street in Oskaloosa. |
saw to it that his children also received a good education. Dulah
attended Penn College, graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, and
did postgraduate work at the Art Students League in New York, where she
won many first place awards in illustration classes under the
instruction of Walter Appleton Clark. She also studied at the
Charles Hawthorne School in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and at the New
York School of Art under William Merritt Chase.
This was the
"Golden Age of Illustration" (1865-1917), and Dulah was part of it. She
held a place in the prestigious Tree Studio building in Chicago from
1903 through 1905 along with other well-known artists such as Pauline
Palmer, Walter Marshall Clute, and Louis Betts.
Becoming a successful commercial artist, Dulah illustrated covers for several publications, including Ladies Home Journal, Harper's Bazaar, and Leslie's Illustrated Weekly.
Photography was an important tool in Dulah's works. She made many
trips southwest to New Mexico from the years 1900 to 1905,
photographing Native American subjects that would later be used as the
basis for her paintings and prints. An example of this is her
woodcut, Mission at Laguna, which was featured in the Chicago Evening Post in 1927.
left the Tree Studio in 1906 to marry Albert Henry Krehbiel, a fellow
classmate from the Art Institute of Chicago. Albert was awarded
an American Traveling Scholarship from the Art Institute in 1903, and,
having spent three years studying at Academie Julian in Paris and
traveling and painting throughout Europe, had accepted a teaching
position at the Institute in early 1906 while still overseas.
1907, Albert reduced his schedule to teaching summer sessions only and
undertook the awarded commission to design and paint the eleven wall
and two ceiling murals for the Illinois Supreme Court Building in the
state capitol of Springfield (the murals were completed in 1911).
Dulah was Albert's only assistant, performing the duties of designing
costumes, modeling, and conducting research on material pertinent to
the theme of the murals. As with many husband and wife artists of
the time, Dulah and Albert frequently painted together and often
painted the same subject. They each had a high regard for the
other's work, and Albert, unlike many men of his day, was proud of his
wife's artistic career and success.
From 1910 through 1915,
Dulah worked out of her new "Ridge Crafts Studio" in Park Ridge,
Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago where she and Albert had purchased
a lovely large home. Here, she created a line of exclusively
designed cards and folders for all occasions. Her assistants,
appropriately called the "Ridge Craft Girls", often pulled double duty
as models for both Dulah's and Albert's paintings. However,
nobody was asked to pose more than their beautiful baby boy, Evans Llan
Krehbiel (their only child), born in 1914.
A painting of Evans, appropriately titled Baby Krehbiel, was featured in the Chicago Daily Herald"
on March 14th, 1915. Evans' "career" as a model had just begun as
he accompanied his mother, father, and Aunt Mayetta on trips to
California and New Mexico from 1918 through 1923. While his
father painted wondrous landscapes, his mother painted scenes of him
and his aunt in various settings.
Dulah's Southwest works
would later be exhibited back in Chicago at The Arts Club, where she
was a founding member. It was in California that Dulah began
painting in the modernistic style. She created works that were
more introspective in nature and which had spiritual overtones.
She became interested in the organization of multiple figures, often
using groupings of three (perhaps to reveal a spiritual synthesis) in
surrealistic mountain landscapes. Dulah created different
tensions with each canvas by the placement of subject figures in
positions juxtaposed to their rocky surroundings.
Regarding her work, Polama Valley, Hi Simons, critic for The Arts section of The Touchstone Magazine
(Brooklyn, New York; 1922), wrote: ". . . (The painting is)
spontaneously accomplished. Its' color-tone is of unbroken
refinement that contrasts agreeably with a certain rawness in some of
her previous work. The correspondence between the lines of the
mountains and those of the figures in the fore is subtle and sure; the
trees unify the composition, the whole canvas is disposed with grace
and convincing logic."
Dulah left Park Ridge for New York City
in 1930, hoping to further her career as a modernistic painter.
It appears that she was successful in establishing a market for her
artwork there at the Salons of America and the Society of Independent
Artists. Dulah's stay in New York was short, however, as she and her
sister were called to Iowa to attend to the severe damage that a
tornado had caused to the Evans Building. It took a full year for the
sisters to complete the repairs.
Returning to her Park Ridge
home and her studio (now called "Studio Place") in 1932, Dulah
persevered in creating her ethereal landscapes throughout the decade
and beyond. Prime examples of these are her Mountain of the Blue Moon done in 1934 and Waterfalls
done in 1938. Representative of the time in which Dulah lived,
her sketchbook from the 1940's includes two drawings that were most
likely designed for posters relating to the theme of war.
Dulah's partner in art as well as in marriage, died on June 29th,
1945. As he had requested, Dulah and Evans scattered his ashes
along the banks of the Des Plaines River in Park Ridge. It was
here that Albert had found so many exquisite motifs to paint through
the years. In his memory, they planted an evergreen pine to mark
the place that they believed he would have chosen for his long
rest. Dulah's first grandchild arrived in 1950, bringing much joy
in what was to be her last year.
Dulah Llan Evans Krehbiel
died on July 24th, 1951, at the age of 75. She had managed to
keep her creative independent spirit alive throughout the years of the
Great Depression and two World Wars. Her spirit lives on in the
artwork she created, from her early charming illustrations to her
self-revealing modernistic landscapes. In Dulah, we get the sense
of a woman of humor, of spirit, and a woman ahead of her time, strong
in her own convictions and remaining true to herself and her art.
Don Ryan, The Krehbiel Corporation
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