Monday, May 21, 2012

Henrietta Shore  "Jean Charlot" circa 1927/ Photo courtesy: LACMA
I recently completed an art appraisal of a Henrietta Mary Shore (1880 - 1963) painting for a Santa Barbara, CA art collector. Shore was an innovative painter of her time, often compared to Georgia O'Keeffe.

Henrietta Shore was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to New York City -- where she began her studies at The Art Students League. She learned the technique and style of American realist painting as a student of Kenneth Hayes Miller, Robert Henri, and William Merritt Chase. Shore was one of the founding members of the New York Society of Women Artists. Shore also attended the Heatherly Art School in London as a pupil of the great John Singer Sargent. Shore began exploring modernist techniques of the period. Her foreshortened, magnified botanical studies became known as Abstract Realism.

In 1913, Shore moved to Los Angeles and helped establish the Los Angeles Society of Modern Artists. She was part of a school of West Coast modernist artists who explored new concepts of modernism while maintaining realist subject-matter. Shore won a silver medal at the 1915 Pan-American Exposition in San Diego. She and fellow artist Helena Dunlap had a two-woman exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum.

Henrietta Shore had earned a strong reputation as an artist and in the late 1920s a retrospective of her work was held at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. In 1924, she was among twenty-five women chosen to represent American women in Paris. She also traveled to Mexico where she painted portraits of artists Jose Orozco and Jean Charlot.

After returning to California, Shore met photographer Edward Weston, who completed a series of photographs based on Shore’s work. Shore eventually settled in Carmel, CA and continued to paint. During the Great Depression, Shore worked for the Treasury Relief Art Project and completed murals at the Monterey post office and another at the Santa Cruz post office.

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