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 Vera Wise  (1892 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Texas/California/Kansas      Known for: western landscape

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from Auction House Records.
California Pines
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Watercolor landscape painter Vera Wise was born July 26, 1892, in Iola, Kansas, growing up in southeastern Kansas and the Pacific Northwest. In 1920, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. From 1924-1925, she studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Wise studied with Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton in 1931, and again in 1938-1939, at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1940, she studied at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with Thomas Craig; as well as the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Her sequence of employment in the 1920s, into the 1930s reads as followsteaching in Washington and Montana high schools, 1920-1924; Marshall Field and Company, Chicago, as a designer and commercial artist, 1925-1929; the Robert Keith Company, in Kansas City, Missouri, 1929-1938. She taught at the Texas School of Mines (now the University of Texas at El Paso) from 1939-1962, expanding course offerings in her role as art department chairman. Wise moved to California after retirement, living and painting in Pomona. She later moved to Stockton, where she died June 6, 1978.

Wise was mainly a watercolorist, though she did some work in lithography and oil. Much of her subject matter was the Western landscape of New Mexico, Texas, California and Mexico. Some characteristic paintings include San Eliza Rio Mission; Country Church at Orinda; Adobe Village; Approaching Storm; Ringing Cathedral Bells; and Across the Rio Grande. Her works are in the collections of the Texas Fine Arts Association; San Antonio Art League; and Idaho State College, Pocatello.

Vera Wise's one-person exhibitions include the Stendhal Art Galleries, Los Angeles, California, 1944 and 1947; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, 1944, 1945 and 1948; Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1945; and Morton Galleries, New York, 1946. An exhibition of her work traveled Texas museums and colleges over an extended period in 1955-1960.

Other exhibitions included the American Watercolor Society, New York City; New York Watercolor Society; Midwestern Artists, Kansas City, Missouri; Denver Art Museum; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, New York City; Texas Fine Arts Association, Austin; Jackson Museum of Fine Arts, Mississippi; Southern States Art League; Washington Water Color Club, DC; Philadelphia Water Color Club; Abilene Museum of Art, Texas; Texas Water Color Society, San Antonio; Texas State Fair, Dallas; La Galleria Romano and Bibliotheca National, both in Mexico City; and Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin.

References: Who Was Who in American Art; Who's Who in American Art 1953-1966; Fielding; Trenton; Who's Who of American Women 1958-1962; C. A. Price; Fugate; El Paso Times, 18 Mar 1941, 8 Apr 1944, 5 Dec 1951, 27 Sep 1953, 4 Apr 1962, 9 May 1965; El Paso Herald Post, 27 Jan 1944, 26 Oct 1954; Stockton Record, 8 Jun 1978; El Paso Public Library files; US Census 1900, Wilson County, KS, ED 167, pg 3; C. H. Garnsey (Art Department, University of Texas, El Paso), 1976; M. E. L. Ruff, 1992; L. Gomez (Human Resources Services, University of Texas, El Paso), 1993; Registrar, Willamette University, 1992; J. Hildebrand, 1994.

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

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Solo shows at the Museum of New Mexico, 1944, 1945, 1948; Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1945; Morton Galleries, 1946.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Iola, July 26, 1892; died Stockton, CA, June 6, 1978. Painter. Teacher. Family moved to Washington where she graduated from high school, Wise attended Willamette University (OR) from 1916-20. Taught at high schools in Washington and Montana before studying at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1924-25 and working as a commercial artist and designer for Marshall Fields and Company, Chicago. Moved in 1929 to Kansas City to work for the Robert Keith Company and take classes at the Kansas City Art Institute under Thomas Hart Benton. Joined the art faculty of the Texas School of Mines in El Paso (later University of Texas at El Paso) in 1939 retiring in 1962. Moved to California after retiring.
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick. An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.; AskArt,, accessed Jan. 15, 2006
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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