Julia Thecla (American, 1896-1973)
Girl in a White Hat, 1936
hand colored lithograph on paper
signed, dated, titled; edition of 150
12-1/2 x 10-5/8 inches
tastefully presented in a contemporary frame with archival materials
Illustrated: Julia Thecla, Illinois State Museum, p. 29
Chicago Tribune, September 6, 1936: 65.
Julia Thecla was born in rural Delavan, Illinois in 1896. In 1920, she moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute, supplementing her income with art and antique restoration work. She began exhibiting extensively at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1931 through 1945. Fey and childlike by nature, Thecla was best known for creating surrealist images of children and animals, ballet dancers, and later cosmic landscapes. She developed an original technique of rubbing through the top layer of opaque watercolor to create smudged, mottled surfaces often crossed by delicate, scratched lines. In later paintings, she used soot to create a dreamlike effect.
Thecla worked for the WPA as an easel painter during the Depression - her work at this time was more prosaic than what she was painting for herself. She designed scenery and costumes for her friend Berenice Holmes, a Chicago based ballet dancer and choreographer who incidentally also taught Gene Kelly to dance, in 1945 and 1946. She was a member of the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, the Women Artists Salon, the Neoterics, and the Chicago Arts Club.
Her work was also shown at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Art; Carnegie Institute, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. In 1984 a solo exhibition of her work was held at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield. Most recently, the exhibition, Julia Thecla: Undiscovered Worlds was held in 2006 at DePaul University, Chicago, IL.
Provenance:Private Collection, Chicago, IL
Excellent condition. Examined out of frame.
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