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 Marylka H. (Pattison) Modjeska  (1893 - 1966)



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Lived/Active: Arizona/California/Illinois / England      Known for: etching, landscape, western and floral painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marylka Modjeska became an etcher and painter of landscapes and florals as well as scenes of Poland and Provincetown and western subjects.  Early in her career she focused on printmaking, and in 1933 added oil painting.  Later she began to work in watercolor, especially of flower subjects.

Modjeska spent her childhood in Chicago, and attended Saturday art classes for children at the Art Institute.  She also took music and art classes for five years in Walmer, England at the Roselands School.  Returning to Chicago, she took additional study at the Art Institute from 1908 to 1909 and 1913 to 1915, and she studied etching from George Senseney both in Chicago and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

From 1918 to 1919, she took classes in New York at the Art Students League with George Bridgman and then married Sidney Pattison, an English professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  Later, in the 1920s, she went to France where she attended the Academie Julian in Paris and studied etching with Georges-Leo Degorce.

For most of the remainder of her life, she lived in Tucson, but she traveled frequently, often crossing the country in an automobile by herself as well as going to Europe and to California where she studied with George Brandriff in Laguna Beach.  She also enjoyed mountain climbing.

Modjeska was also a talented musician, who taught piano classes and performed.

Exhibition venues included the Provincetown Art Association, Chicago Society of Etchers, the National Arts Club, and the Tucson Fine Arts Association.

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

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, Illinois on January 22, 1893, Marylka Modjeska was the daughter of Ralph Modjeska, designer of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, and granddaughter of actress Helen Modjeska.

She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under George Senseney and continued in Paris.  About 1921, she married Sidney Pattison and settled in Tucson, AZ.  By the 1930s she was spending summers in Corona del Mar, CA. While there, she studied with George Brandriff in Laguna Beach.

She died in an auto accident in Tucson on July 8, 1966.

Phoenix Woman’s Club, 1929
Hatfield Gallery (LA), 1930
Laguna Beach AA, 1939
Laguna Beach Art Gallery, 1942.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1936-62; Women Artists of the American West; Tucson Daily Citizen, 7-9-1966 (obituary).
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From Ralph Modjeski Pattison, grandson of the artist:

Marylka Modjeska moved to Tucson in 1920 after marrying my grandfather, Sidney Pattison.  He was a 43-year-old widower and head of the English Department at the University of Arizona. They met the year before on a hiking trip in California.  The next year, my father was born; my younger brother still lives in their house in Tucson.

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