Artist Search
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 

 Albertine Randall Wheelan  (1863 - 1954)

About: Albertine Randall Wheelan


Examples of her work


Quick facts

Exhibits - current  



Book references

Magazine references pre-2007  

Discussion board

Signature Examples*  
Buy and Sell: Albertine Randall Wheelan
  For sale ads

Auction results*

  Wanted ads Auctions upcoming for her*  
  Dealers Auction sales graphs*  

What's my art worth?

Magazine ads pre-1998*  

Market Alert - Free

Lived/Active: California/New York/Connecticut      Known for: illustrator-cartoon, illustrator, designer

Login for full access
View AskART Services

*may require subscription

Available for Albertine Randall Wheelan:

Quick facts (Styles, locations, mediums, teachers, subjects, geography, etc.) (Albertine Wheelan)


Biographical information (Albertine Wheelan)


Book references (Albertine Wheelan)


Auction records - upcoming / past (Albertine Wheelan)


Auction high record price (Albertine Wheelan)


Analysis of auction sales (Albertine Wheelan)


Discussion board entries (Albertine Wheelan)


Image examples of works (Albertine Wheelan)


Please send me Alert Updates for Albertine Randall Wheelan (free)
What is an alert list?

Ad Code: 4
Albertine Randall Wheelan
from Auction House Records.
The Pixie on his Mount
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from the artist's grandson, Albertine Randall Wheelan of Greeneville, South Carolina: He writes:

"Mrs. Wheelan was my father's mother and I am her grandson. I have only a few examples of my grandmother's work and I have no originals. Details of Mrs. Wheelan's early life and art training are taken from a letter she wrote me dated 26 July 1943. Details of her costume design work are taken from an article by Helen Wright in "The American Magazine of Art," (Vol. 12 No. 4) April 1921 (pp. 124-129). The quote from the "London Book of Bookplates" is taken from an undated newspaper article. Another undated newspaper article contains a report of an exhibit of the artist's work staged by The New York Public Library in the late 30's or early 40's. Genealogical details are taken from the Randall Family Bible which I inherited.
Albertine Randall Wheelan was born in San Francisco May 27, 1863. She was the youngest of the four children of Albert Gallatin Randall of Eliot, Maine and Anne Augusta Frost Soule of Phillips, Maine. Her father died when she was very young and her family was left in constrained circumstances. At the age of sixteen, upon graduation from San Francisco Girls High School, her unusual artistic talents were quickly commercialized. She developed a profitable business preparing name place cards for the many fashionable formal dinners then in vogue.

When she had earned enough to afford tuition, she applied and was accepted to the San Francisco School of Design. Her work was encouraged by the Dean of the school, artist Virgil Williams. Mr. Williams became a mentor to the young student and was "a great artist and like a second father to me". He brought her to the attention of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco where she began to supply a steady demand for place cards, posters, and commemorative menu covers all the while keeping up with a demanding course of study at the School of Design. She also started to do magazine illustrations for "Harper's Bazaar," "Harper's Young People," and "St. Nicholas."

The artist married San Francisco businessman, Fairfax Henry Wheelan, (Harvard, 1880) in San Francisco May 18, 1887. The couple had two sons, Edgar Stow Wheelan and Fairfax Randall Wheelan. Edgar Wheelan was to become the nationally syndicated cartoonist Ed Wheelan, who created the comic strip "Minute Movies" and is given credit for helping to bring day-to-day continuity to newspaper comic pages. Mrs. Wheelan may have been one of the earliest female cartoonists. She created and drew a daily comic strip titled "In Rabbitboro" which was in syndication 1927-1928.

From 1880 to 1910, Mrs. Wheelan continued to illustrate for magazines and
children's books for numerous publishers including G. Schirmer, E P Dutton, and Ernest Lister of London. In this period, she also designed a large number of personalized bookplates. Her interest in symbols and her creative feel for fantasy and decorative ornament produced a variety of unique bookplates. "The London Book of Bookplates" commented, "her work is pervaded by a fine sense of thoughtfulness".

In 1912, Mrs. Wheelan was in New York to discuss a project with St. Nicholas. A chance meeting led to a commission from the theatrical producer, David Belasco. Belasco was preparing to stage "Rose of the Rancho", a play set in California in 1840. He was seeking an artist familiar with California history and the American West who could create authentic settings and costumes. The assignment began an eighteen year association between the artist and Belasco during which Mrs. Wheelan designed costumes and stage settings for the producer.

The watercolors Mrs. Wheelan painted to interpret her costume designs were very detailed. Her sketches included fully delineated characters. Belasco said they helped him visualize particular parts and were helpful in casting. The artist once estimated that she had created over two-thousand watercolors for Belasco productions. Some of the many Belasco plays she contributed to include "Rose of the Rancho", "The Warrens of Virginia", "Tiger Rose", "The Son-Daughter", and "Deburau". In the early 1930's the New York Public Library exhibited one hundred and ninety of Mrs. Wheelan's watercolors from the permanent Belasco collection.

The artist worked with other theatrical producers as well. In 1913, she caused a mild sensation when she created what may well have been the first strapless, backless evening gown to be seen in New York for Henry W. Savage's production of "Sari". In addition to her work for the stage, Mrs. Wheelan designed for the opera and ballet. Metropolitan Opera soprano Johanna Gadski wore elaborate costumes the artist created for the diva's title role in Verdi's "Aida". Famed prima ballerina Anna Pavlova danced in several costumes designed especially for her by Mrs. Wheelan, notably a costume with wings for Pavlova's dance of the dragonfly.

When her husband died in San Francisco in 1915, the artist settled permanently in New York City. Her San Francisco roots influenced her life-long interest and deep affection for the Chinese people. She made several extended visits to China where her sister Fannie Eliza Randall served in Peking as a missionary teacher. During the Second World War, Mrs. Wheelan contributed a watercolor to the Friends of China for use as a cover for a benefit program. The painting depicts six Chinese children. It captures both the happy exuberance of childhood and the artist's enthusiasm for the

Mrs. Wheelan traveled extensively. Her absorption in the varied colors and textures of costume led her to paint dozens of vivid watercolors depicting the unique and colorful dress of the many conductors, baggage handlers, railway stations, and pier-side workers encountered in her journeys.

Mrs. Wheelan illustrated many children's books and her gentle art found its way on to the seasonal and holiday issue covers of the "New York Herald Tribune" Sunday supplements and other periodicals. Sadly, much of her early work was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. Still more of her work was lost in the 1930's when fire destroyed the building in which her New York studio was located. In later years, the artist worked from her studio on Leroy Street in Greenwich Village.

With high energy and a positive, cheerful disposition, Mrs. Wheelan was a tiny lady with a twinkle in her eye and an enormous zest for life. Draftsman, designer, stylist, and illustrator, she had a lively sense of humor and took special delight in both "bon mot" and pun. Retired and living with her two sons in Litchfield, Connecticut, Mrs. Wheelan died peacefully at age 90 on January 7, 1954.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, CA on May 27, 1863.  Randall studied privately with Wm Keith and at the School of Design under Virgil Williams in the 1880s.  She married Fairfax Wheelan in 1887 and
remained in her native city.  She was active in San Francisco's art scene until the earthquake of 1906.  During the 1920s she worked in both Los Angeles and NYC; by 1935 she appears to have settled in the latter where she was an illustrator for St. Nickolas and other magazines.  She created the newspaper cartoon "The Dumbunnies" as well as book plate designs, stained glass windows, and
costume sketches for impressario David Belasco.  Mrs. Wheelan died in Litchfield, CT on Jan. 9, 1954. 

Exh:  Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1879; SFAA, 1887-1905; Guild of Arts & Crafts (SF), 1904-06; Sketch Club (SF), 1890s-1906; LACMA, 1926.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
CSL; AAW; AAA 1927-29.
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.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
  go to top home | site map | site terms | AskART services & subscriptions | contact | about us
  copyright © 2000-2015 AskART all rights reserved ® AskART and Artists' Bluebook are registered trademarks

  A |  B |  C |  D-E |  F-G |  H |  I-K |  L |  M |  N-P |  Q-R |  S |  T-V |  W-Z  
  frequently searched artists 1, 2, more...  
  art appraisals, art for sale, auction records, misc artists