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 Lucy Clare Drake Marlow  (1890 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: portrait, still life and landscape painting

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Lucy Clare Drake Marlow
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Lucy Drake Marlow established herself as a portrait painter and art scholar before moving to Tucson, Arizona in 1927.  By the 1930's she was Tucson best-known portraitist.  Many of her subjects were members of the University faculty, and many of the offices of persons she painted have had those portraits on the walls. Working into the 1970s, Marlow also became noted for her portraits of Native American women, and in 1940, her painting Teresita Girl, a Pima Indian, won first prize for her at the Erie Art Club in her hometown.

Her mediums were oil, pastel and charcoal, and in addition to portraits, she completed figures, still life, Arizona landscapes and some experimental non-objective paintings.  In her portrait and figure work, she often showed a mother and child against the desert landscape, symbolic of the matriarchal Indian cultures of the Southwest.  One of her favorite models was Frances Sommer, the wife of artist Frederick Sommer, with whom Marlow taught briefly when the two of them opened a school in Tucson in the early 30s.

She grew up in Erie, and then studied art and music at Chautauqua, New York.  In 1912, she married George A. Marlow, who was an inspector with the Pennsylvania and Erie Railroad.  Shortly after she began studies at the Art Students League in New York, and from 1923 to 1927, was a special student at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh (now Carnegie Mellon).   She also was at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts, and studied with Ernest Blumenschein, who encouraged her to come to the Southwest, having established himself as a Taos, New Mexico painter. 

In the late 1920s, Lucy Marlow moved to Tucson, Arizona, seeking a better climate for a daughter who had ill health.  Marlow became a Public Works Project artist in 1933, briefly ran a summer school in the 1930s with Frederick Sommer, and later taught privately. Basically she lived in Tucson the remainder of her life, although she did have a brief stay in California, and she died in Phoenix.

Exhibitions include the Arizona State Fair, Tucson Fine Arts Association, Hoosier Salon and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West
Peter Birmingham, The New Deal in the Southwest
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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