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 Zama Vanessa Helder  (1904 - 1968)

About: Zama Vanessa Helder


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Lived/Active: Washington/California      Known for: regional landscapes, educator

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Vanessa Helder is primarily known as Zama Vanessa Helder

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Lynden, WA on May 30, 1904. After graduating from the University of Washington, Helder studied at the ASL in NYC. From 1939-41 she taught at the Spokane Art Center. In 1943 she married John S. Paterson and settled in Los Angeles where she remained. During 1952-55 she taught at the Los Angeles Art Institute. She died on May 1, 1968. Member: Women Painters of the West; Women Artists of Washington; American WC Society; Nat'l Ass'n of Women Artists. Exh: Portland (OR) Museum, 1936; SFMA, 1936, 1937; Denver Museum, 1938, 1940; Oakland Art Gallery, 1938-41; Calif. WC Society, 1940-50; San Diego FA Society, 1941; MM, 1942; MOMA, 1943; LACMA, 1945 (solo); Calif. State Fair, 1953; LA AA, 1953. In: Seattle Museum; High Museum (Atlanta); Cheney Cowles Museum (Spokane).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1938-62; Women Artists of the American West; Death record; Los Angeles Times, 5-4-1968 (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.

Biography from Martin-Zambito Fine Art:
Zama Vanessa Helder was born in Lynden, Washington and lived in Seattle and Spokane before moving to Los Angeles in 1943. She studied at the University of Washington and the Art Students League, NY. In 1939, Helder was on staff at the Spokane WPA Art Center where she taught watercolor painting and lithography. During that time, she produced her famous series of watercolors documenting the Grand Coulee Dam construction.

She began exhibiting nationally in 1936 and was represented by the Maynard Walker Gallery in New York. She exhibited several of her paintings in the 1943 Museum of Modern Art exhibition, "Realists & Magic Realists". She also exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum, Oakland Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum and numerous others.

Her work is in the Permanent Collection of the National Museum of American Art, Seattle Art Museum, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Cheney-Cowles Museum, Spokane, Washington and several others.

Her work is illustrated in several publications including:

Independent Spirits: Women Artists of the American West, 1890-1945, by Trenton, University of CA. Press, 1995.

Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the West by Kovinick & Yoshiki Kovinick, University of Texas Press.

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