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Catherine Macartney

 (1880 - 1958)
Catherine (Naomi) Macartney was active/lived in Iowa / France.  Catherine Macartney is known for painting, sculpture, decorative arts, design and teaching.

Catherine Macartney

Biography from the Archives of askART

The following biography is submitted by Robert Constant from information extracted from various references including Iowa Artists  of the First Hundred Years by Zenobia B. Ness and Louise Orwig, published in 1939 and the Special Collections of the University of Iowa Libraries.

Catherine Naomi Macartney (1889-1958) was an American artist and professor of art at the University of Iowa located in Iowa City.  She was born on January 23, 1880 in Des Moines, IA and died in Seattle WA on August 19, 1958. She is  buried in the family plot at Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines.

She graduated with a BA degree from Wellesley College in 1903, and from 1903-1907 she studied at the Cumming School of Art in Des Moines founded in 1904 by the noted artist Charles Atherton Cumming. She also studied art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston under Henry Hunt Clark and Huger Elliott, at the Sorbonne from 1909-1910, and two years at Grinnell College in Iowa. She continued her studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from 1917-1918 and at the Academy Colarossi in Paris, 1922-1923, under Richard Miller. She received a Fellowship to study art in Europe from the L.C. Tiffany Foundation for the years 1922-1923. She taught art at the Cumming School of Art from 1907-1909 and at West Des Moines High School from 1913-1917.

She traveled and painted in Europe. In 1912 and 1914, she exhibited at the Des Moines Women's Club where she received a silver and gold medal respectively. Other exhibitions were at the Iowa State Fair 1916 (gold medal) and 1921 (gold medal), National Academy of Design NYC in 1931 Iowa Art Guild in 1938,  the Washington (DC) Watercolor Club, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery.

Macartney taught art at the University of Iowa from 1918 to 1957. She started as an instructor in 1918 and retired as an Associate Professor in 1957. From 1934 to 1954 she was the Head of the Graphic and Plastic Arts Department. The University of Iowa Catalogue 1920-1921 lists Macartney as an instructor in the Graphic and Plastic Arts Department. The phrase "plastic arts", rarely used today, denoted the arts of sculpture, ceramics and the shaping of steel, wood, concrete etc. Architectural ornamentation was popular in the 1920s, and someone had to design the ornamentation incorporated into buildings. In 1920 Miss Macartney taught four courses: a. Decorative Design and Historic Ornament, b. Advanced Design, c. Decorative Design, and d. Advanced Decorative Design.

Macartney was a member of the College Art Association, the American Association of College Professors, the Iowa Art Guild, the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the Western Arts Association and the American Federation of Arts.

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About  Catherine Macartney

Born:  1880 - Des Moines, Iowa
Died:   1958 - Seattle, Washington
Known for:  painting, sculpture, decorative arts, design and teaching