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 Katherine Sibley McEwen  (1875 - 1945)

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Lived/Active: Arizona/British Columbia / Canada      Known for: mountain landscape, fresco painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Katherine ( Kitty) McEwen (1875-    )

Born July 19, 1875 in Nottingham, Kent, England, she and her sister Alexandrine were taken to Germany at the age of fourteen to complete their education.  They immigrated to the United Stated in 1895 and settled in Detroit. Their initial art education was received at the Detroit Art Academy after which both sisters attended the William Merritt Chase School in New York City, going abroad during the summers with the Chase Art Classes. 

Upon their return to Detroit they helped establish the Society of Arts and Crafts.  Katherine was an original charter member of the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors as was her sister.  She was President of that organization from 1915 to 1918.  In furthering their art education, they were to spend eight years as students at the Charles Woodbury School in Ogunquit, Maine.  Katherine, in addition, studied murals under William M. Chase and became a member of the American National society of Mural Painters.  She did large frescoes in the Cranbrook Church, Bloomfield Hills and in Los Angeles.  She was assisted in the Los Angeles Murals by the well known muralist, Siqueros.  She made several trips through the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and the Grand Canyon, Colorado, to find subject matter. 

The sisters moved from their ranch in Arizona in 1942 to Victoria, British Columbia, where they became members of the “Arts Centre of Greater Victoria.”

Moore, Julia Gatlin. History of the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, 1903-1953.  Detroit, Michigan, 1953.  Gibson, Arthur Hopkin. Artists of Early Michigan, Wayne State University Press, 1975.   

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, researcher of Lansing, Michigan

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A frail woman, she put herself through rigorous outdoor adventures of camping and traveling by horses to get the natural scenery she loved in Alaska, Arizona and the Rocky Mountains.

She was born in Nottingham, England, and studied in New York with William Merritt Chase and Richard Miller. She was a longtime resident of Detroit, Michigan and did murals for the Cranbrook School for Boys. She first went to Arizona in the 1920s, and she and her sister operated a dude ranch, The Seven Dash Ranch, near Dragoon. By 1940, she was living there full time.

Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Katherine McEwen was born in Nottingham, England on July 19, 1875. McEwen studied in New York with Chase and Miller. She was a resident of Detroit for many years, Los Angeles in 1932, and Dragoon, AZ in 1940.

Mural: Christ Church (Detroit).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; Who's Who in American Art 1940.
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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