Sue Canterbury is the Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. Four years of her extensive effort and research, led to the exceptional exhibit, Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow, and the book she authored to accompany the exhibit, Ida O’Keeffe Escaping Georgia’s Shadow.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all she has accomplished.
This is the article that inspired us to focus on Ida O’Keeffe’s life in Whittier. Sue Canterbury’s article published in the New York Times, ended with these words Ms. Canterbury said she was looking forward to more interviews and archive visits. Descendant of Ida O’Keeffe’s neighbors in Whittier, […]
The Ida O’Keeffe exhibit of paintings, monotypes, and photographs far exceeded our expectations. A true highlight was the display of Ida’s large personal scrapbook, where she had kept newspaper clippings from her exhibits in the East and South, as well and items from Whittier.
The Whittier Art Gallery’s exhibit announcements appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and throughout 1942, the gallery had shown monthly exhibits of the work of 10 nationally-known artists. Whatever her reasons, Ida O’Keeffe came, “an artist from the East”, moving to Whittier during the frightening years of Word War II. She found employment as a draughtsman at the Douglas plant in Long Beach.
Ida first settled in an apartment at 205 Earlham Drive, just across the street from Whittier College. Her apartment was within walking distance of the Whittier Art Gallery.
By May 10, 1943, Ida O’Keeffe was established with the members of the Whittier Art Association & Gallery, and her signature appears in the registry as “Ida O’Keeffe in charge”. She was taking a turn working at the desk, and helping with the gallery’s management.
Sam Hyde Harris exhibits 17 of his oil paintings. At the open meeting, he painted a Demonstration picture of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Ida O’Keeffe attended the presentation and helped serve refreshments.
WAA Member’s exhibit Jury of Selection: Ida O’Keeffe, Larken Vaught, Richard Harris and Glen Nelson. Judges: John Hubbard Rich, Ejnar Hansen, Roscoe Shrader, Dean of Otis Art Institute.
Ida O’Keeffe exhibits realistic and abstract oil paintings in the main floor (large) gallery. Water colors and oils by Phillipa Mansur are shown in the “annex”, a small gallery space usually reserved for the artwork of local, emerging artists.
Ida O’Keeffe’s oil paintings, 𝘉𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘴, and 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘓𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴, were painted in 1946. They are part of private collections in Whittier. Sue Canterbury, a curator from the Dallas Museum of Art, visited Whittier in preparation for the exhibition 𝘐𝘥𝘢 𝘖’𝘒𝘦𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦, 𝘌𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘢’𝘴 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸.
Ralph Hulett exhibits California landscapes and marines. He studied four years at Chouinard Art Institute. S. McDonald Wright, Script Magazine writer, wrote:
“Ralph Hulett’s watercolors exemplify the best pictorial methods of what has now come
to be called the California School.”
The Whittier Art Associations Art Fair was held under the trees behind the gallery building. Artist members demonstrated several media including water color painting, by Mabel Haig, woodcarving by Cloudsley French,
and weaving by Glen Nelson. Ida O’Keeffe visited the event, and can be seen in the center of the newspaper photo.