DescriptionETHEL SPEARS (American, 1903-1974)
Lively Gathering in Town Square
Oil on canvas
29-7/8 x 40-1/4 inches (75.9 x 102.2 cm)
Signed lower right: Ethel Spears
Born in 1905, Chicago native Ethel Spears studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the Art Students League in New York. She later returned to Chicago to join the faculty at the SAIC, where she taught for twenty-four years. Her work was very well received in New York and Chicago. A well-known muralist, Spears' created twenty-three murals for the Works Progress Administration in Chicago. She retired to Navasota, Texas in 1961 where she spent the remainder of her days with her life-long companion, Kathleen Blackshear.
Her work was heavily influenced by folk and naïve art, which she often applied to urban genre scenes. Lively Gathering in the Town Square is a classic example of this fascinating approach to American Regionalism. On the other hand, Still Life with Pink Vase and Figurine of Rider on Horseback reveals her interest in European art movements of the early twentieth century. This particular work owes much to Henri Matisse's still-lifes from that period.
Unlined canvas; faint stretcher creases along top and right edges visible under raking light; there does not appear to be inpainting under UV exam Framed Dimensions 33.375 X 43.375 Inches
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