Editor's note: The Plains Art Museum provided source material in January 2001 to Resource Library for the following article. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the Plains Art Museum directly through either this phone number or web address:
Parasols and Palmettos: The Art of Mary Lane McMillan
The Plains Art Museum will exhibit the work of Mary Lane McMillan from January 18 through February 25, 2001 in the Jane L. Stern Gallery. The exhibition is named Parasols and Palmettos: The Art of Mary Lane McMillan. It contains 60 framed original pieces in impressionist style. Such pieces as Pond Landscape, a 1920 oil on canvas and Florida Cottage, a 1960 color pencil, feature garden and lake scenes; women with parasols, bonnets, hair bows and fans; barefooted boys brides in veils; moss-covered cypress and palm trees; climbing vines; gondolas, row boats and Chinese lanterns. (left: Florida Fishing Camp, 1947, watercolor, © Hollingsworth Fine Arts)
Mary Lane McMillan was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1883, a neighbor and playmate of Helen KeIler. She showed talent for drawing as a young child and began studying art with private tutors while in high school. She then entered the National Academy of Design, majoring in illustration. She continued her studies at The Art Institute of Chicago, studying painting with Walter Clute (1870 - 1915) and Fredrick Oswald. (left: Illustration for Cream of Wheat Advertisement, 1915, pencil, © Hollingsworth Fine Arts)
After graduating, she headed the Art Department at Texas Women's College in Fort Worth. In 1910, she went abroad to study with William Merritt Chase. Returning to America, she began her career as a book and magazine illustrator. Her work appeared in Life, Harper's Bazaar, The Saturday Evening Post and on the covers of Every Week, Judge, McCall's Pictorial Review and The Woman's Home Companion.
She exhibited her serious work regularly at galleries and museums throughout the Northeast. In 1926, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, she won "Best of Show" for her oil painting, Hollyhocks. That piece is included in this exhibit.
According to a January, 1944 report in The Courier-Index of Marianna, AR, McMillan was a lively teacher: "Mary Lane McMillan entertained the students of her art class and members of the Marianna Fine Arts Assoc. with a Twelfth Night celebration at the home of Mrs. J.W. Mitchell. Mrs. McMillan has made a study on puppetry and for a number of years put on puppet shows in her home in New Rochelle, NY. (left: Young Woman with a Parasol, 1920, pastel, © Hollingsworth Fine Arts)
She moved to Eustis, Florida in the mid-1940s where she continued sketching and painting until her death in 1976 at the age of 93. Her work was described by a contemporary critic as, "transfused with atmosphere, splendid in composition and beautiful in color."
Pieces in the exhibit include pencil, charcoal and pen and ink drawings as well as sketches and paintings done in pastel, crayon, colored pencil, watercolor and oil. The works span 80 years.
On October 27, 2004 RL received an email from Michelle A. Harm, Director of Exhibits, Hollingsworth Fine Arts, 4 Broadway Court, Orlando, FL 32803.
Ms. Harm wrote:
Ms. Harm's corrected text follows:
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Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11
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