Paulette Van Roekens

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The American artist Paulette Van Roekens was born in Château-Thierry, France late New Year's Eve 1895. At a young age, she emigrated to the United States with her parents, Victor (a horticulturalist) and Jeanne van Roekens, to reside in Glenside, Pennsylvania.[1]

In 1915, Van Roekens enrolled in the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design), where she was awarded the John Sartain Fellowship (1916). She also attended classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and studied sculpture at the Graphic Sketch Club of Philadelphia. She also studied under Henry B. Snell, Leopold Seyffert, Joseph Pearson, and Charles Grafly.[2] She became a professor at the Moore College of Art in drawing and painting in 1923, a position she held for almost 40 years. At the time of her retirement in 1961, the College presented her with an honorary doctorate.[3]

In 1927 she married a colleague at Moore, Arthur Melzer, a respected artist in his own right. They had two children, Davis Paul and Joanne. She and Melzer lived in the Philadelphia area for the rest of their lives. They each had a studio in the family home, but painted subjects from New York as well as outdoor scenes from excursions to Europe.

She worked in a variety of media and is well known for her oils and pastels. Still lifes are prominent in her early work, but as her career developed she turned more and more to landscapes. She called herself a “sometimes impressionist” because while she was strongly influenced by impressionism she found it difficult to completely break with academic drawing. She exhibited throughout her career, with 14 solo exhibitions (her first in 1920) and two retrospective exhibitions with her husband.[4] Her final exhibition was only a few months before her death on January 11, 1988.

Her work is represented at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Academy of Design, the Carnegie Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Mint Museum (Charlotte, N.C.), the Albright Gallery, and the Detroit Institute of Art.[5] She held memberships in the Art Alliance of America and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.[6]

Partial List of Works[edit]

  • Victory Loan on Chestnut Street, 1918
  • Girard Bank, (World War I Victory Loan), 1919
  • Towers in the Mist, 1925
  • City Hall Towers, 1928
  • The Horse with the Lavender Eye, 1939
  • Midsummer Dreams, n.d.
  • Sawdust and Spangles, n.d.
  • Under the Spotlight, n.d.
  • 15th St. from Broad St. Station
  • The New Boulevard
  • Treat 'Em Rough
  • Gray Towers

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peterson, Brian H; Gerdts, William H (2002-01-01). Pennsylvania impressionism. Doylestown, PA; Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum ; University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812237005.
  2. ^ Fielding, Mantle; Opitz, Glenn B (1986-01-01). Mantle Fielding's dictionary of American painters, sculptors & engravers. Poughkeepsie, NY: Apollo. ISBN 0938290045.
  3. ^ Peterson, Brian H; Gerdts, William H (2002-01-01). Pennsylvania impressionism. Doylestown, PA; Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum ; University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812237005.
  4. ^ Peterson, Brian H; Gerdts, William H (2002-01-01). Pennsylvania impressionism. Doylestown, PA; Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum ; University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812237005.
  5. ^ Who Was Who in American Art; Who's Who in American Art." American Art Annunals (1930, 1942)
  6. ^ Peterson, Brian H; Gerdts, William H (2002-01-01). Pennsylvania impressionism. Doylestown, PA; Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum ; University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812237005.

External links[edit]