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 Julia M Bracken Wendt  (1871 - 1942)

About: Julia M Bracken Wendt
 

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois      Known for: portrait, allegory, commemorative bronze sculpture, medallions

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Ad Code: 3
Julia M Bracken Wendt
from Auction House Records.
The Apache Fire Hole
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A sculptress best known for portraits of notable persons, allegory* themes and architectural decoration, Julia Wendt was the twelfth child of Irish-Catholic parents in Apple River, Illinois.  Her mother died when Julia was nine, and feeling unsupported at home, she ran away at age thirteen. Three years later she was working as a domestic servant for a woman who admired her talent and who paid for her tuition at the Art Institute of Chicago*.

There she studied with Lorado Taft for six years, became his teaching assistant and then one of his female assistants, known as the White Rabbits*, during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.*  The "Rabbits" under Taft's direction did some of the architectural sculpture for exposition buildings. 

Wendt also won a sculpture commission at the Illinois pavilion of this Chicago World's Fair, and her work, Illinois Welcoming the Nations, was placed in the Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.  In 1900, she completed a statue of James Monroe that is also installed at the capitol building.

In 1906, after her marriage to William Wendt, she left Chicago for California where the two of them became a highly prominent artist couple.  She taught at the Otis Art Institute and became a member of the National Sculpture Society.

In 1911, she began a commission of an eleven-foot high, three-figure allegory group for the rotunda of the Los Angeles County Museum.  She chose to represent History, Science, and Art as draped goddesses with uplifted hands holding electrically lit globes. After her death, in the face of modernist art, the work was hidden from sight but later resurrected in 1980 with its own room for display.

In 1913, she was commissioned by the government of Canada to create a King Edward Peace Memorial, which was installed at Saskatoon.

Source:
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Bracken_Wendt

* For references for these terms and others, see AskART Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Julia Wendt is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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