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 Garnet Moore Keeney  (1900 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Wisconsin      Known for: genre, figure and landscape painting, ceramics, gallery owner

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Garnet Moore Keeney
An example of work by Garnet Moore Keeney
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Garnet Moore was born in Wisconsin to Charles and Elizabeth Moore in 1900, and she died in 1984. She is buried next to her mother in Tomah, Wisconsin. 

Garnet graduated from Tomah High School in 1919.  She had two brothers, James Harold and Wilbur, and a sister Mae. She was the oldest of her siblings.  Garnet was married to Ed Keeney. She and her husband never had any children. 

For some time Garnet and Ed lived at Williams Air Force Base where Ed was employed, and she also lived and worked on Mount Lemon, in Florence, and in Apache Junction. She was living in Apache Junction at the time of her death. 

In her later years, Garnet presented a sculpture she made to the Children's Room at the Tomah public library. In the name of her husband, Edward, she also donated Mother Goose nursery rhyme figures of her work to the Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children in Chicago.

Garnet was very interested in the daily activities of our two oldest daughters, her great nieces, who were very young at the time, and the letters we exchanged were filled with their activities and the things that Garnet was doing at the time.  She painted and illustrated a storybook for them based on the Mother Goose rhymes.

In her later years, she very much enjoyed her visits to Wisconsin, and she spoke often of her fondness for the lush landscapes and the beautiful red barns of her youth.  
 
I am told that Garnet loved drawing and painting as a child, and that, at some point, she studied at The Dayton Art Institute. While she lived in Florence, she did some paintings for the Florence Women's Club, which, I believe, are still on display there. I believe she also helped start a gallery in Scottsdale with several other women. The paintings which we have are landscape and figure paintings and watercolors most of them depicting scenes from her years in Arizona.  We also have a few clay fired figures. 

Written and submitted by Mary Moore, whose husband was a nephew of the artist:

______
An active pioneer painter in Scottsdale, Arizona, Garnett Moore Keeney began painting when only a small child in Wisconsin. She studied for two semesters at the Dayton, Ohio Art Institute and with Fred Good of Chicago. For some time, she, with several other women, ran the Tres Palmas Art Gallery in Scottsdale. She also inaugurated the annual Florentine Art exhibit at Florence, Arizona, where she had lived for a period. 

Source:
Fran Elliott, Sedona Arizona

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted by Helen Stevens, niece of the artist. It was published in the Florence Reminder (Arizona) and Blade Tribune on August 14, 1975:

Garnet Moore Keeney was born Near Tomah, Wisconsin to Sarah Elizabeth Sunday and Charles M.Moore in 1900. And she passed away in 1984 in Casa Grande, Arizona. She is buried next to her Mother in Tomah, Wisconsin.

After graduating from Tomah hig school, she taught school there before working as a photo re-toucher and lab technician. She came to Florence in 1947 to open her own art studio and received national recognition working in oil. It was during this time she said, she initiated the annual Florentine Art Exhibit, which remains an annual event under the sponsorship of the Florence Women's Club.

Eight historic murals by her now hang in the club's headquarters. The magazine, Ford Times,  featured three of these murals in an article about her.  In 1952, she organized the "Tres Plamas Gallery" with five other woman artists in Scottsdale. It was soon after this that she acquired an interest in Ceramics and studied the craft in Tucson. In 1962 after directing a summer art colony on Mt. Lemon, near Tucson, it was back to Scottsdale where she created custom dinnerware for an Italian restaurant. She returned to Florence after her husband's stroke in 1969.

In 1971, Lacy Murrow of the Seaboard Coastline Railroad bought an oil of an old station Garnett had painted for a black and white photo, and the painting was donated to a museum in Rocky Mount North Carolina.

Garnet really liked doing the Mother Goose ceramics and even wrote poems to go with them. Example:
"Now I know you remember the old woman
Who lived with all of her children in a shoe
Well she soon grew tired of being in such a fix,
So she went to the store for some gingerbread mix.
Then with gingerbread cookies she ignored all traditions,
And built for her family this roomy addition.
Now that is the story word for word,
That twas told to me by a wise old bird!"

About this poem, Stevens wrote: "This is just one of the Mother Goose Poems that are in my Book she made for me! I know that she made a replica of the "Little "Red Schoolhouse" that is in the library in Tomah.

Biography from Arizona Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts:
The following information was in the Florence Reminder and Blade Tribune, Florence, Arizona on August 14, 1975:
 
Garnet Moore Keeney was born Near Tomah, Wisconsin to Sarah Elizabeth Sunday and Charles M.Moore in 1900. After graduating from ?Tomah, she taught school there before working as a photo re-toucher and lab technician. She came to Florence in 1947 to open her own art studio and received national recognition working in oil.  It was during this time she said, she initiated the annual Florentine Art Exhibit which remains an annual event under the sponsorship of the Florence Women's Club.

Eight historic murals by her now hang in the Club's headquarters.  The magazine Ford Times featured three of these murals in an article about her.  In 1952 She organized the "Tres Plamas Gallery" with five other woman artists in Scottsdale. It was soon after this that she acquired an interest in Ceramics and studied the craft in Tucson. In 1962 after directing a summer art colony on Mt. Lemon, near Tucson, it was back to Scottsdale where she created custom dinnerware for an Italian restaurant. She returned to Florence after her husband's stroke in 1969. In 1971, Lacy Murrow of the Seaboard Coastline Railroad bought an oil of an old station Garnet had painted for a black and white photo and the painting was donated to a museum in Rocky Mount North Carolina. She really liked doing the mother Goose Ceramics and even wrote poems to go with them. Example:

"Now I know you remember the old woman who lived with all of her children in a shoe
Well she soon grew tired of being in such a fix,
So she sent to the store for some gingerbread mix.
Then with gingerbread cookies she ignored all traditions,
And built for her family this roomy addition.
Now that is the story word for word,
That twas told to me by a wise old bird!"

Courtesy, Fran Elliott, Sedona, Arizona
 

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