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 Julia Gridley Severance  (1877 - 1972)

About: Julia Gridley Severance


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Lived/Active: Ohio/California      Known for: mod figure and animal sculpture, etcher

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Oberlin, OH on Jan. 11, 1877. After graduating from Oberlin College, Severance studied at the AIC, Cleveland School of Art, and ASL in NYC. In 1938 she left her native city and settled in San Diego, CA where she remained until her death on March 9, 1972. Exh: San Diego Art Guild, 1940; La Jolla Art Center, 1942. In: Library of Congress; San Diego Museum; Oberlin College; St Mary's School (Knoxville, IL).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1917-33; Art News, 1-12-1924; Who's Who in American Art 1936-62; Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Journal of San Diego History, Summer 1989.
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 Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts:
Born in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1877, Julia Gridley Severance could draw at an early age, and attended Oberlin College from 1896 to 1900. After graduating from Oberlin, Severance studied in Italy, as well as at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Art School, and the Art Students League in New York.

Severance designed the official Oberlin College seal which was adopted in 1911, and in 1921 she designed the Leffingwell bronze tablet for the Chapel of St. Mary’s School in Knoxville, Illinois.

In 1916 Severance received first prize in sculpture at the Cleveland Women’s Art Club, and she exhibited her sculptures and etchings at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1925.

Julia’s home base continued to be Oberlin, and her father, James Severance, an administrator at the college, had a studio built for her on the campus. For the next 30 years Julia Severance’s Oberlin studio was an active and busy place, where she worked and held occasional exhibitions.

Severance left Oberlin in 1938 and settled in San Diego where she remained an active member of the art community, exhibiting at the San Diego Art Guild in 1940 and the La Jolla Art Center in 1942.

Julia Severance passed away in Chula Vista, California, in 1972.

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