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 Margaret Evelyn Whittemore  (1897 - 1983)

About: Margaret Evelyn Whittemore
 

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Lived/Active: Kansas/Florida      Known for: western-theme painting, historical illustration and woodblocks

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Graphic artist, Margaret Whittemore was born into a family of Washburn College teachers on September 7, 1897, in Topeka, Kansas, growing up there. Her father, Luther D. Whittemore was a professor of Latin and education, and her mother Frances Davis Whittemore was director of the art department. The artist-to-be studied, naturally enough, at Washburn (today a University) from 1915-1919, receiving her degree. From 1920-1923, she studied graphic arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. In 1927, she taught art at Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kansas. From 1928-1935, she edited the national publication of the honorary art fraternity Delta Phi Delta, "The Palette." Whittemore moved from Topeka to Kissimmee, Florida, in 1952, spending a number of years in both Short Hills, New Jersey, and Sarasota, Florida, before choosing Sarasota as her home. She would die there on November 24, 1983.

While Whittemore did some work in oil, her primary medium in the expression of Kansas subjects was the graphic arts, wood block prints in particular. Around 1930, magazines and newspapers began publishing her prints of historic landmarks, as well as her earlier birds and trees. She illustrated books by other writers, while also writing and illustrating her own. Sketchbook of Kansas Landmarks, published in 1936, was her first book. It featured drawings and descriptions of historically significant landmarks like the capitol, missions, old trails, homes, bridges and trees. The 1955 Exhibit of Chicago and Midwestern Bookmaking honored Whittemore's Historic Kansas: A Centenary Sketchbook, 1954. Her One-Way Ticket to Kansas appeared in 1959. Whittemore's work is in the Kansas collections of the Emporia Library; Topeka Public Library; University of Kansas, Lawrence; and Butler County Historical Society, in El Dorado.

An early oil, Santa Fe Poster, was shown at the Kansas City Art Institute in their 1923 exhibition of work by artists of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Whittemore, during summer study with Birger Sandzen at the Broadmoor Academy, Colorado Springs, painted another oil, Sunrise on Pikes Peak, which was also exhibited at the Institute in the 1924 Midwestern Artists exhibition. Other exhibitions included the Prairie Print Makers, which traveled through Kansas. She won "Best Print by a Kansas Artist" in the 1936 American Block Print exhibition, in Wichita, Kansas.

References containing information on Margaret Whittemore's life and art include: Who Was Who in American Art; Who's Who in American Art 1953-1959; Petteys; American Women; Kansas Historical Collection 17 (1926-1928); Penwoman, Nov 1960; Topeka Journal, 14 Apr 1926, 27 Aug 1943; Kansas City Journal [MO], 21 Mar 1927; Topeka Daily Capitol, 6 Dec 1936, 11 Jun 1939, 23 Jul 1939, 30 Jul 1939, 26 Oct 1952; Kansas City Times, 8 Mar 1943, 23 Jul 1954; Topeka Capitol-Journal, 1 Dec 1983; Kansas State Historical files, Topeka; US Census 1900, Shawnee County, KS, ED 169, pg 5; Topeka City Directory; M. Whittemore, 1975; C. R. Rasch (Washburn University), 1991.



Source:
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, "An Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West"


Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1923; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1924; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1925; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1933; Kansas Free Fair, 1939; 6th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition, 1930; 7th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1931; 8th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition, 1932; 9th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1933; 14th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition, 1938; 15th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1939;
Memberships:
Topeka Print Makers; National League of American Pen Women.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Topeka, Sept. 7, 1897; died Sarasota, FL, Nov. 24, 1983. Writer. Painter, specialized in Kansas scenes and birds. Wood block printer. Lithographer. Daughter of Frances Whittemore. Graduated from Washburn College, Topeka in 1919. Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1920-23, and in the art colony at Taos, NM. Taught art at Bethany College, Lindsborg in 1927. From 1928-35, Whittemore was the editor of The Palette, the national publication of the honorary art fraternity Delta Phi Delta. Whittemore moved from Topeka to Kissimmee, FL, in 1952, spending a number of years in both Short Hills, NJ, and Sarasota, FL, before choosing Sarasota as her home. She illustrated books by other writers, while also writing and illustrating her own. Sketchbook of Kansas Landmarks (1936), her first book, featured drawings and descriptions of historically significant landmarks like the capitol, missions, old trails, homes, bridges and trees. During the 1940s, she illustrated Birds of Kansas and Bird Notes by Harry Rhodes and during the 1950s she wrote and illustrated One- Way Ticket to Kansas and Historic Kansas: A Centenary Sketchbook.
Source:
AWARDS:
First prize 228 in 9th Annual Exhibition of American Block Prints, Jan. 1936 for best print by a Kansan.

COLLECTIONS:
Spencer Museum of Art Topeka Public Library; Reinbach; Beach Museum; Wichita Public Library; Emporia Library

MEMBERSHIPS:
Topeka Print Makers; National League of American Pen Women.

SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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Margaret Whittemore is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940

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