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 Anna Elizabeth Keener  (1895 - 1982)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Kansas/Texas/Colorado / Mexico      Known for: landscape and genre painting, mural, block prints

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Ad Code: 3
Anna Elizabeth (Wilton) Keener
from Auction House Records.
River Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Anna Elizabeth Keener 1895-1982, was a painter, graphic artist, teacher and writer, was born in Flagler, Colorado, and grew up in Dalhart, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1916, and a Master of Arts degree in 1918, at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, while also attending summer sessions of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, in 1917 and 1919. At Bethany College, Keener was both a student and assistant to Birger Sandzen, a professor of block printing she credited as one of her finest teachers. (She also thought highly of etchers Paulus and Bertha Jacques, and lithographers Joseph A. Imhof and George Myasaki, teachers she would encounter in her varied and many-year career as a student of art).

Keener attended evening classes at the Detroit School of Design while serving as a clerk in the United States Navy in that city during World War I. After the War, she taught in the Globe, Arizona, public schools, then at Kansas City High School, in Kansas, while attending the Kansas City Art Institute, in Missouri, in 1923. Keener moved to Alpine, Texas to teach drawing at Sul Ross State Teachers College, from 1925-1927. She lived again in Dalhart for a time before teaching in New Mexico schools at Red River, Ojo Caliente, Las Vegas, and Gallup. She painted a mural in the McKinley County Courthouse in Gallup.

Keener studied in Mexico City in 1941, and in 1942, she began a twelve-year period as teacher and head of the art department at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales. During this time, Keener was back in school in 1949 at Colorado State Teachers College, Greeley, and in 1951, she received a Master of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She studied again in 1953 in Mexico City.

Retiring from Eastern New Mexico University in 1954, Keener moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she was active in the art life, jurying exhibitions and continuing to paint. In 1962 she was back in school yet again, studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She was the author of Spontaneity in Design (Kansas City: Missouri Valley Press, 1923). She was married to Louis Raymond Wilton, and Keener died in her Santa Fe home.

Keener held memberships in the American Artists Professional League; American Federation of Arts; Art of America Society; Artists Equity; International Institute of Arts and Letters; National and New Mexico Art Education Associations; Southern States Art League; and Western Art Association.

Anna Keener's work is in the collections of Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas; Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas; Texas Historical Society; Museum of Fine Arts and New Mexico State Library, Santa Fe; Santa Fe Public Library; Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; San Francisco Public Library, California; John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, Chicago, Illinois; Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas; and University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Anna keener's exhibitions include:

Annual Exhibition of Texas Artists, Dallas Woman's Forum (1927);
Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth (1927);
Southern States Art League Annual Exhibition (1930);
Painters and Sculptors of New Mexico, Santa Fe (1949-1950);
Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe (1953 prize, 1956 and 1958 one-woman, 1968); Springville Museum of Art, Utah (1957 and 1958 one-woman);
Tucson Art Festival, Arizona (1958 one-woman);
Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas (1959 one-woman);
High Plains Gallery, Amarillo, Texas (1960 one-woman);
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (1964 one-woman);
New Mexico Arts Commission, Santa Fe (1967 one-woman);
Women Artists in Texas 1850-1950, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon (1993);
Annual Exhibition of Texas Artists, Dallas Woman's Forum (prize);
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.;
San Francisco Public Library;
Mid-Western Artists Annual Exhibition, Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri;
New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque;
Roswell Museum of Art, New Mexico.

Source:
John and Deborah Powers, Texas Painters, Sculptors, and Graphic Artists
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, Women Artists of the American West

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
5th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1915; 6th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1916; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1922; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1923; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1925; Annual Exhibition of Texas Artists, Dallas Woman's Forum, 1927; Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth, 1927; Southern States Art League Annual Exhibition, 1930, Painters and Sculptors of New Mexico, Santa Fe, 1949-1950; Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, 1953, 1956,1958 onewoman, 1968; Springville Museum of Art, Utah, 1957 and 1958 one-woman; Tucson Art Festival, Arizona, 1958 one-woman; Sandzén Memorial Gallery, 1959 one-woman; High Plains Gallery, Amarillo, TX, 1960 one-woman; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1964 one-woman; New Mexico Arts Commission, Santa Fe, 1967 one-woman.
Memberships:
New Orleans Arts & Crafts Club; Delta Phi Delta; American Federation of Arts; Southern States Artists Leagues; U.S. Representative of Brush and Pen Women’s Club; American Artists Professional League; Art of America Society; Artists Equity; Western Art Association

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Flagler, CO, Oct. 16, 1895; died Santa Fe, NM, June 22, 1982. Painter, specialized in landscape and genre. Writer. Blockprinter. Teacher. Grew up in Dalhart, TX. Studied at Bethany College, Lindsborg with Birger Sandzén receiving a BFA in 1916 and an MA in 1918 while also attending summer sessions at the Art Institute of Chicago. Taught at Bethany College, Lindsborg from 1916-17 & 1919-20.

Served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. After the war, she taught in the Globe, AZ public schools and then at Kansas City High School while attending the Kansas City Art Institute. Keener moved to Alpine, TX to teach drawing at Sul Ross State Teachers College from 1925-27, lived in Dalhart, TX, then taught for a time in various schools in New Mexico.

Keener studied in Mexico City in 1941 then from 1942-54 taught at Eastern New Mexico University Founded the New Mexico Art Educators Association and helped organize the New Mexico Arts Commission. Maintained a studio in Santa Fe from 1952 till her death. Author of Spontaneity in Design (Kansas City: Missouri Valley Press, 1923).
Source:
AWARDS:
Bronze Medal for Graphic Arts, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1922; Honorable mention for Graphic Arts, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition. 1923.

COLLECTIONS:
San Francisco Public Library; Bethany College; Oklahoma University; Sul Ross State University; Smoky Hill Art Club; John H. Vanderpoel Art Association; Texas Historical Society; Museum of New Mexico; Mural in Court House, Gallup, NM; Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery; Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum; Museum of New Mexico; Santa Fe Public Library.

MEMBERSHIPS:
New Orleans Arts & Crafts Club; Delta Phi Delta; American Federation of Arts; Southern States Artists Leagues; U.S. Representative of Brush and Pen Women’s Club; American Artists Professional League; Art of America Society; Artists Equity; Western Art Association

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
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.; Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1974. 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.; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-194720/22/24/26; 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; 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. 6,7; 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.) 1922-23, 1925; Sandzén files; 100 Years of Art; AskArt, www.askart.com, accessed Dec. 16, 2005; Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998..
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.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Anna Elizabeth Keener (Mrs. Louis Raymond Wilton) was recognized as a painter, graphic artist, teacher and writer. She was born in Flagler, Colorado and grew up in Dalhart, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1916, and a Master of Arts degree in 1918, at Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kansas, while attending summer session at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois in 1917 and 1919. While at Bethany College, Kenner was a student of and assistant to Birger Sandzen, a professor of printing and painting and a painter of recognition, who she credited as one of her best teachers. She also studied with etchers Paulus and Bertha Jacques and the lithographer, Joseph Imhoff.

Anna Keener served as a clerk in the US Navy during World War I, in Detroit, while taking night course at the Detroit School of Design. . After the War she taught public school in Arizona and Kansas. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri in 1923. In 1925 she taught drawing at Sul Ross State Teachers College, in Alpine, Texas. Then she moved to New Mexico where she taught art in Red River, Ojo Caliente, Las Vegas, and Gallup. Keener painted the mural in the Mckinley County Courthouse in Gallup, NM.

Keener studied in Mexico City in 1941, and in 1942 she began a twelve year commitment to teaching and became the head the art department at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales. During that time she received a Master of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

In 1954 Anna Keener retired from Eastern New Mexico University and Moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she continued to paint and write. She was author of, Spontaneity in Design (Kansas City: Missouri Valley Press, 1923). In 1962 she returned to school studying at the California Collage of Arts and Crafts. She died at her home in Santa Fe at the age of 87.

Source:
Parson's Gallery of the West in Taos, New Mexico

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