Oil on canvas painting 30" by 36", unframed, subject tropical vegetation in a greenhouse or conservatory,signed at lower right by Chicago woman artist MARIE ELSA BLANKE (1879-1961). Blanke was noted in the Chicago area for many years. She studied in Europe, at London, Munich, and spent some time in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Blanke attended the Art Institute (and exhibited there more than 40 times) and won a scholarship from the Chicago Women's Club. Her work was included in the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915. Exhibits of her work in the Greater Chicago area were regularly announced in the newspapers, as was the custom at the time. Snippets of her biography appear to suggest that she was a gay woman, very forward for her times, friendly with a Jane Heap, a publisher and considered one of the major figures in the transmission of literary Modernism between America and Europe in the years between the wars. The painting is in as-found condition, out of a local estate, with generalized typical soiling you'd expect on a circa 1930's or 1940's painting, a few small punctures, and a bit loose on the stretchers. There is a fragmentary label on the reverse. Her partial name and "Chicago" are legible, but no more.
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