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 Alfred Partridge Klots  ( - 1939)

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Lived/Active: Maryland/District Of Columbia / France      Known for: portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A portrait painter from Baltimore and Washington DC., Alfred Klots was born in France and spent most of his painting career in that country.  He was brought to America at age five by his parents, and by 1896 had paintings in an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1898, and later in 1910 and 1911, he exhibited work at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Beginning in the early 1900s, he returned to France where the next year he studied at the Academy Julian with Jean Paul Laurens.   He also began a lifetime routine of painting at the medieval village of Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany.  By 1905, he had spread the word of the scenic charm of the place to such an extent that in artists colony was created.  In 1905, he built a chateau and studio there on the site of a chateau destroyed in the French Revolution because it was part of the destruction of a route that linked North and South Brittany.  In 1904, he was married to Agnes Boone, and the couple lived in Baltimore, East Gloucester, Massachusetts and from 1916 to 1926 in Washington DC. 

During World War I, the structure became a recovery home for wounded American soldiers because the Klots, who at been at the Chateau at the outbreak of the war, offered their place to the Red Cross.  During the war, Agnes Boone Klots did much war relief work in Baltimore to aid the French including working for the French Wounded Emergency Fun and the American Ourvroir Fund.  She returned to France in 1919. 

Between 1925 and 1927, the Klots dedicated themselves to rebuilding the Chateau.  Their son, Trafford, who later became an artist, was enrolled in the local school, the Ecole des Roches, and from 1929 to 1932 in the Gilman School in Baltimore.  However, he was not much of a scholar and excelled primarily in art, a subject that he subsequently studied with his father.

In 1938, Alfred Klots took a trip to the Dutch East Indies and died the next year swimming off the coast of Java.

His family continued to promote the art colony at Rochefort-en-Terre, although during World War II, German soldiers occupied their chateau.  After the war, Trafford Klots and his wife, Isabel, restored the property. The regional government purchased the Chateau in 1987.  Then in 1989, after Traford's death, his wife, established the Alfred & Trafford Klots Artist Residency Program in memory of her husband and father-in-law.  From the time of its inception, it was a summer program, but its beginning with four participants expanded to sixteen artist residencies between May and September.  The program is administered through the Maryland Institute College of Art.  In May 2007, the Maryland Institute College of Art held an exhibition featuring the participants in the artist residency program of Chateau Rochefort en Terre.


Sources:

http://www.mica.edu/PROGRAMS/int.rochefort/residencies/history.cfm

Maryland Historical Society  http://www.mdhs.org/library/mss/ms002404.html

http://www.mpt.org/artworks/thisweek/archive/2007/070502

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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