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 Judith Barbara Deim  (1912 - 2006)

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Lived/Active: California/Missouri      Known for: figure, allegory, landscape, mural paintings

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Barbara Stevenson is primarily known as Judith Barbara Deim

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
''New York, Brooklyn Bridge,'' 1945
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Modernist painter and muralist, Barbara Stevenson used the pseudonym of Judith Deim and has had an active career based in California while wandering many parts of the world.

She was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 11, 1911 and studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Art on a scholarship, graduating in the middle of the Depression. She earned money by working on the Federal Arts Project, and a post office mural project took her to California in the mid 1930s. After the completion of that project, she assisted former classmate Ellwood Graham with murals in the Ventura Post office, and later they married.

From 1952, she began traveling extensively, and in the late 1960s, lived with her children in Spain.  Today she lives in an Indian village near Pátzcuaro, Mexico.

Exh:  CPLH, 1940; SFMA, 1941; Carmel AA, 1946 (solo); NAD, 1947; San Jose Museum, 1982; Patzcuraro Museum, 1988.  In:  San Jose State Univ. (John Steinbeck).  Murals:  Ventura (CA) Post Office; St Louis High School; Veterans Hospital (Washington, DC); Salinas (CA) Hospital; Oak Grove Grammar School (Monterey).

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Carmel Pine Cone, Aug. 1939; Monterey: The Artist's View; Art of California, July 1991.
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.

Biography from Hauk Fine Arts:
Judith Deim, the subject of a recent documentary film ``Ghost Bird: The Life and Art of Judith Deim,'' which plays on the Sundance Channel, was born in St. Louis, Mo. on March 11, 1911. She arrived in Monterey, California in the mid-1930s, with her husband, artist Ellwood Graham. At the time she painted under the name Barbara Stevenson.

Friends and associates included author John Steinbeck, marine biologist Ed Ricketts (the character "Doc'" in Steinbeck's novel ``Cannery Row''), Joseph Campbell, artists James Fitzgerald and Bruce Ariss, photographer Edward Weston, composer and artist John Cage, and others. Twice Steinbeck gave Deim and Graham money so they could travel to Mexico to paint.

In 1946 she was given the first solo show of any artist by the Carmel Art Association. In the early 1950s Deim and her children left the Monterey Peninsula and traveled the world, from Europe to Africa and finally to Mexico, where she now makes her home in Patzcuaro, in the Michucan in a small Indian village. ``Ghost Bird: The Life and Art of Judith Deim'' traces the artist's odyssey. At age 91 she continues to paint and exhibit.

Biography from Gerald Sauer Fine Art:
Barbara Stevenson[ pseudonym Judith Deim] was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1912 and attended St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University on scholarship. Following graduation, she worked in the Federal Art Project during the Depression.

She came to California to do a mural for the Treasury Art Project in the 30s. From 1939 to 1959 she resided in Monterey, California. She initially worked with Society of Six artist, August Gay, who exposed her to the California School of Modernism. Her use of bold, bright colors with outlining with dark color became a characteristic of her work as did her subjects of everyday life.

In the 1940s, she exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Corcoran Gallery, and museums of St. Louis, New Mexico and Dallas. In 1946, she was the first to be honored with a solo exhibition at the Carmel Art Association. Her later years were spent in traveling and painting throughout Europe, Morocco and Mexico where she resides today.

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