Adele Watson


Fanny Adele Watson (1873-1947) was an American painter and lithographer.

Watson was born on April 30, 1873 in Toledo, Ohio. In 1880 her family moved to Pasadena, California after the death of her father. She studied at the Art Students League of New York as a young adult, and returned to California in 1917. She traveled to Paris and became a pupil of Raphael Collin and friends with poet/artist Khalil Gibran. She exhibited and was a member of the American Artists Professional League, the Pen and Brush Club, and the Society of Independent Artists. She also exhibited her work at the National Academy of Design. She was influenced by Symbolism and Mysticism.

Watson's first public exhibit was in 1913. Watson's first New York solo exhibit was held in 1916 at the Folsom Galleries and was reviewed as having "joy, freedom, vitality and abounding sense of rhythm." Reviewing an exhibit of Watson's work in 1918, Anna T. Craig, writing for American Art News, suggested, "Miss Watson had especially the dramatic, epic and pageant sense for conveying her thoughts through her work." Arthur Miller, writing for the Los Angeles Times in 1933 about Watson's exhibit of paintings and painted screens, suggested "Miss Watson see landscape in terms of the soul of man." Miller continued, "this is her first Los Angeles showing of her works which have gained favor in the East."

Watson's work is associated with the California Coast and Zion National Park in Utah. Watson died in Pasadena, California, on March 23, 1947.

In 1953 the Pasadena Art Institute held a retrospective of Watson's work, and again in 1963, the Pasadena Art Institute held a memorial exhibition of her work. Watson's work was included in the 2022-2023 exhibit, At the Dawn of a New Age: Early Twentieth-Century American Modernism, at the Whitney Museum of American Art where examples of her work are also held. Her work is also in the collections of the Orange County Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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