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 Lee Kannalley  ( - 1974)

About: Lee Kannalley


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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: landscape and figure painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Lee Kannally, an impressionist painter who had studied in France, came from Sterling, Illinois, to Oracle, Arizona in the early 1900s. There he joined his brother, Neil, who had moved to the Southwest in 1902 to find a better climate to fight his tuberculosis. Lee and Neil purchased land and cattle and operated a ranch, which is now a part of Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education.

Earlier Lee had spent time in Siberia and became interested in ballet, which he often depicted in his paintings. In Sterling, Illinois, he had been an assistant to the president of a large Midwestern railroad. From gas poisoning in World War I, he had suffered nerve damage, which some attributed to his quick, tick-like way of painting. Because of problems with his nerves as well as severe arthritis, he did most of his painting leaning over a bed. It is said that he liked to paint so much he would find an excuse to leave the table at mealtime to resume painting.

He was a very skilled roper and was rated one of the top ropers in the area at the time. His birth date is unknown, but he was in his 80s when he died in 1974.

Oracle State Historical Society. Courtesy Ron Gerba, Prescott, AZ

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