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 Frances Foy  (1890 - 1963)

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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: figure, genre, portrait and still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Frances (Mrs. Gustaf Dalstrom) Foy
from Auction House Records.
Still Life with Lilies in a Vase
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, Frances Foy had a successful career there as a painter in oil and watercolor and etcher, printmaker and muralist.  She also traveled widely including to Sweden, France, Germany, and Italy.

Foy studied at the Art Institute of Chicago with Wellington Reynolds and with George Bellows and Randall Davey and later exhibited in a one-person show at the Institute as well as in annual Institute exhibitions from 1929 through 1940. When she was a student at the Institute, she was awarded the Jules F. Brower Prize and the Frank G. Logan Prize.

During the Depression, she won an anonymous competition to have a commission from the U.S. Treasury Department Section of the Fine Arts, followed by four other commissions, for improvements to public buildings in East Alton, Illinois; West Allis, Wisconsin; Dunkirk, Indiana. and Chicago at the Chestnut Street Postal Station.  However, as a woman, she was not allowed to apply for work with the WPA Federal Arts Project if her husband was part of the project because of the common assumption that men, being the bread winners, needed the work more than women.

Her husband was Gustav Oscar Dalstrom, an artist who served as President of the Chicago Society of Artists and also Supervisor of the Mural Division of the Illinois Federal Art Project. With him she was able to work on the WPA murals including the aforementioned in other states and also a companion mural, Advent of the Pioneers, to his mural, The Great Indian Council-1933, for the Old Main Post Office of ChicagoSeparated for unknown reasons from her husband's mural, today it is located at the Post Office at 433 West Harrison Street, and Dalstrom's mural is at the Loop Station Post Office at 221 South Clark Street.

Like many pre-World War II WPA artists in America, Foy was a realistic painter, but in her mural work, she was unique in that she often included more women than men in her genre paintings and usually showed them playing important roles.

Louise Dunn Yochim, "Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists"
Peter Hasting Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Jean S. Hunt, Walking With Women Through Chicago History II
"Gustaf Dalstrom", Wikipedia, (Accessed 3/3/2013)

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