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 Helen Augusta Iserman Francis Hodge  (1870 - 1958)

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Lived/Active: Kansas/California      Known for: watercolor landscape, floral and portrait painting, photography

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Ad Code: 3
Helen I Hodge
from Auction House Records.
Lake Louise
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised in Topeka, Kansas, Helen Iserman Hodge became a painter in oil and watercolor of landscapes in many geographical areas and was especially noted for her depictions of Kansas wildflowers.  She also did portraits including one of Cyrus Holliday, founder of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Hodge was the daughter of a country doctor and wife, Joseph and Frances Iserman.  She began drawing at age three, and later studied in Cincinnati with George Hopkins, also from Kansas, and in Washington DC at the Corcoran Gallery School of Art.  There she was living with her older sister, Ida Randall Bolles.

She returned to Topeka, Kansas, and in 1898, married a physician named Willard Francis.  However,  he died two years later, which led to financial problems.  Forced to support herself, she turned to photography, and enrolled in the Illinois College of Photography.  From that time, she continued her fine-art painting but kept a photography studio to insure income.  In 1917, she married again, this time to L. Cady Hodge, who was managing director of the Topeka Daily Capital.  He took over her photography business, which allowed her freedom to paint.

As a young painter, she did scenes of Kansas and continued that subject matter throughout her life.  By 1897, she was also painting in Colorado where her sister Ida was living.  In 1919, Ida moved to Laguna Beach, and Helen Hodge visited her there.  The sisters traveled around California to paint, traveling to coastal areas and the Mohave Desert. 

Hodge also painted in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and in Europe and Canada including Lake Louise in Glacier National Park.

The artist died in November 1958 in Topeka, Kansas.  Work by her can be found in the Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University in Topeka and Topeka High School.


Source:
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, pp. 143-144.
Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Annual Exhibition of the Artists of Kansas City and Vicinity, 1920; Annual Exhibition of the Artists of Kansas City and Vicinity, 1921; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1922; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1923; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1924; 1st Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1925; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1926; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1927; 4th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1928; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1928; 5th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1929; 6th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1930; 7th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1931; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1931; 8th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1932; 9th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1933; 12th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1936; 14th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1938; 15th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1939; 16th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1940; 17th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1941; Kansas Free Fair, National Art Fair, Wichita Art Museum, 1940.
Memberships:
Charter member of Topeka Art Guild; Laguna Beach Art Association; West Coast Arts; Smoky Hill Art Club; American Artists Professional League; Women Painters of the West.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
"On May 18, 1870, Helen Iserman Hodge was born in the ghost town of Ridgway in Osage County, Kansas.  For eight years she studied art at the Concoran Galleries in Washington D.C.  .  She was, and her work continues to be, well known.  She was one of the founders of the Topeka Art Guild and held exhibitions of her own every year since its beginning.
 
She spent her summers on 'painting sprees', painting in California with her sister, Ida Iserman Randall Bolles, who was also an artist, and becoming associated with the Laguna Beach Artists.  Other summer trips included Colorado, Canada, and on two summers made trips to Europe, painting her way across the continent, including the Mediterranean countries.

An outstanding Kansas artist, Mrs. Hodge exhibited pictures in many places about the country.  She worked in the media of oil and watercolor and is well known for her landscapes and floral paintings.  There is hardly a state where her paintings are not owned.
 
Helen Hodge died November 25, 1958, in Topeka, Kansas.

Source:
The Topeka Daily Capital, Sunday, January 11, 1953, and geneology research by her niece and namesake, Helen Iserman Spencer of Oakley, Kansas. 

Submitted November 2005 by Diane Spencer Kirby, great niece of Helen Hodge.
 

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Ridgeway, May 18, 1870; died Topeka, Nov. 15, 1958. Painter, specialized in landscape, flower studies. Photographer. Teacher. Moved to Topeka with her family during her youth. Her sister, Ida Randall Bolles was also an artist. Helen Hodge studied at the Corcoran School of Art; Washington, died C. and in Cincinnati, OH. She returned to Topeka intending to open a studio of her own but found there was a better opportunity for an artphotography studio. She took the regular course in the Illinois College of Photography and returned to Topeka. Pupil of George Melville Stone of Topeka, George E. Hopkins of Cincinnati, and Anna Hills of Laguna Beach, CA, where she spent several summers. Married first to Willard Francis, a physician, and then to L. Cady Hodge, managing director of the Topeka Daily Capital. Every summer she painted in the East or West and once went abroad with George M. Stone and his wife and daughter. Frequently traveled with her sister through the western U.S. Taught at the Topeka School of Art in1938.
Source:
AWARDS:
28 first prizes, Kansas State Fair.

COLLECTIONS:
Mulvane Art Museum; Kanhistique. Ellsworth, KS, v.1 #1 May 1975-. 1975-1982 examined. Society; Women’s Club & High School, Wichita; Topeka High School; Topeka Public Library

MEMBERSHIPS:
Charter member of Topeka Art Guild; Laguna Beach Art Association; West Coast Arts; Smoky Hill Art Club; American Artists Professional League; Women Painters of the West.

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Community Arts and Crafts (Apr. 1928); Kansas Teacher (Dec. 1927); Newlin, Gertrude Dix (Development of Art in Kansas. Typed Manuscript, 1951); Festival of Kansas Arts and Crafts. Catalog: Arts and Crafts of Kansas: an Exhibition held in Lawrence, Feb. 18-22, 1948 in the Community Building. Lawrence: World Co., 1948; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-194729; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47. 1, 2, 3, 4; Sain, Lydia. Kansas Artists, compiled by Lydia Sain from 1932 to 1948. Typed Manuscript, 1948.; Fielding, Mantle. Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, with an Addendum containing Corrections and Additional Material on the Original Entries. Compiled by James F. Carr. New York: James F. Carr Publ., 1965.; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-194727; Reinbach, Edna, comp. “Kansas Art and Artists”, in Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society. v. 17, 1928. p. 571-585.; WKDC (Kansas Artists, compiled by Woman’s Kansas Day Club. January 29, 1964. Typed Manuscript.); Snow, Florence. “Kansas Art and Artists”, in Kansas Teacher Aug-Sept. 1927, p.18-19; Oct. 1927, p.10, 12; Nov. 1927, p.11-12; Dec. 1927, p.7-8; Jan. 1928, p. 14-15; Feb. 1928, p.20-21; Mar. 1928, p.10-12; Apr. 1928, p. 16-17; May 1928, p.14, 16; June-July 1928, p.13-14.; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-194718/20/22/24/26; Topeka City Directory (1868-69; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1874; 1875; 1876-77; 1878-79; 1880-81; 1882; 1883-84; 1885-1886; 1887-1888; 1888-89; 1890-1891; 1893-94; 1896-97; 1899-1900; 1900-01; 1902; 1905; 1907; 1909; 1910; 1912; 1916; 1921; 1924; 1926; 1927-28; 1929-30; 1931; 1933; 1935; 1937; 1938; 1940; 1942). 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1942; Dawdy 2: Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Volume 2. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1981.; Collins, Jim, and Glenn B. Opitz, eds. Women Artists in America: 18th Century to the Present (1790-1980). Rev. and enl. ed. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: Apollo, 1980.; Annual Exhibition of the Artists of Kansas City and Vicinity (Kansas City Art Institute, 1915-21) 1920-21; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition (Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute, 1920-1942 Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas. s.l. Mines, 1979.) 1922-24, 1926-28, 1931; AskArt, www.askart.com, accessed Dec. 20, 2005; Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.; TPL.
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ridgeway, KS on May 18, 1870, Helen Iserman Hodge grew up in Topeka and lived there most of her life.  She married Lincoln C. Hodge in 1917.  She studied at the Corcoran Gallery of Art while living with her sister Ida Randall Bolles.

When her sister settled in Laguna Beach in 1919, she often spent summers there and joined Ida on painting expeditions along the coast and in the Mojave Desert.

Mrs. Hodge died in Topeka, Kansas on Nov. 25, 1958. Memberships included Women Painters of the West; Topeka Art Guild. Exhibition venues were the Laguna Beach Art Association, 1927.

Collections:
Mulvane Museum (Topeka); Topeka Women's Club; Topeka High School.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1919-33; Who's Who in American Art 1938-41; Women Artists of the American West; Topeka Daily Capital, 11-26-1958 (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.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Helen Hodge is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940

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