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 Miriam Brooks (MJB) Jenkins  (1885 - 1944)



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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscapes, street scenes and still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is contributed by Theresa Aitchisonher, grand daughter of the artist.

Miriam Brooks Jenkins was born in 1885 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Charles Peter Brooks, a mining engineer, and Millicent Godbe, daughter of W.S. Godbe, a founder of the Salt Lake Tribune. She studied both music and art in high school, taking her art instruction from Mary Teasdel, an accomplished artist.

At the behest of her family, she continued her music education at the New England Conservatory of Music, but she continued to paint, and it was the main focus of her life. She married W. Guy Jenkins in Salt Lake City. They had five children, Charles Peter, Anthony, Martha, Joan, and Marian. (Marian Jenkins Freeman is also an artist and lives in Lahaina, HI.)

The family moved to California in 1928, settling first in Santa Barbara, and then Long Beach. When their home in Long Beach was destroyed by earthquake, they moved to Costa Mesa, CA.

Miriam Brooks Jenkins worked mostly in water color, but there are a few oil paintings, and numerous graphite, charcoal, and pen and ink drawings. She is noted for landscapes, particularly of the west, street scenes, and still lifes.

The Springville Museum in Provo, Utah holds two works: "Illingsworth's," a street scene, and "Clock with Turnips," a still life, both water colors. Her work is distinguished by very loose, impressionistic brush work, though many works are of a more expressionistic style. Many works are signed with a distinctive "MBJ" monogram.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Salt Lake City, UT on April 24, 1885. Miriam initally pursued a musical career and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. After she wed Willard Jenkins in 1918, she operated a candy store in Salt Lake City while studying art with James T. Harwood. In 1928 she moved to southern California and lived in Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana where she died on May 6, 1944. Her landscapes include scenes of the Grand Canyon and Zion Park. Exh: Springfield (UT) Museum, 1939 (solo). In: South Cache High School (Hyrum, UT).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Women Artists of the American West; Salt Lake City Tribune, 5-8-1944 (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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