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Grace Allison Barron
Grace Allison Barron (American, 1899-1987) noted painter & teacher primarily known for her oil & watercolor landscape and figurative paintings, marine & harbor scenes, cityscapes, portrait works, genre scenes, drawings, collages, pastels and sculptures. Grace was born December 7, 1899 in Buffalo, NY to William D. Barron (1863-) and mother Grace E. (nee McKeown) Barron (1872-) and from an early age displayed a talent for drawing and painting. She had formal art studies at the University of Toronto, Ontario for four months and then at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA (on Newbury St., now defunct), as well as the American School for Painting called The École des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, France, and summers with the famous landscape painter Aldro Thompson Hibbard (American, 1886-1972), Rockport, MA.

From about 1922-1946, Grace resided and exhibited widely in Buffalo, NY. From 1929-35, she was a member of and exhibited with the Buffalo Society of Artists. Circa 1931-42, she worked as an art instructor and was head of the art department at the Elmwood-Franklin School, Buffalo, NY. From March 26-April 9, Grace had her first solo show of watercolor paintings and sculpture, featuring scenes of Germany & England at the Carl Bredemeier Gallery, located at 327 Franklin Street in Buffalo. In 1933, she became a founding member of the Patteran Society of Buffalo along with several other prominent Buffalo artists, such as; Martha Visser’t Hooft (American, 1906-1994), Ruth Erb Hoffman (American, 1902-1968) and Carl L. Bredemeier (American, 1892-1946). She exhibited with the Patteran Society from 1935-1944 in their annual exhibitions.

“In the early 1930’s, disagreement developed between two factions in the Buffalo Society of Artists – the traditionalists and progressives. This resulted in the latter group forming their own organization, the Patteran Society, in May 1933. The name was derived from a gypsy word meaning “a path in an unknown direction.” The founders of the Patteran were Grace Allison Barron (American, 1899-1987), Ruth Erb Hoffman, Carl Bredemeier (American, 1892-), Harold LeRoy Olmstead (American, 1886-1972), Evelyn Rumsey Lord (American, 1877-1963), Louisa Winslow Robbins (American, 1898-1962), Virginia Tillou (née Eller, American, 1906-1995) and Martha Visser’t Hooft (American, 1906-1994). It was agreed that that the society would be conducted with a minimum of rules and regulations. The organization’s aim, it was stated, would be “to foster free and independent thought and approach in the individual, rather than group excellence in the total.” The founders led their way in exploring and experimenting with the various methods and techniques of the contemporary masters. Their success encouraged other members to follow this “patteran.” By the mid-1950’s, many of the members of the Patteran also belonged to the Buffalo Society of Artists, almost obliterating the differences which caused the division in 1933. And in a display of fraternalism in April 1962, the two organizations shared an exhibition in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. They again exhibited there in 1975.”[1] The Patteran society disbanded in 1983.

Barron was also a member of and exhibited with the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors (now the National Association of Women Artists [NAWA]), NYC; and the Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA. From 1929-44, She exhibited in numerous exhibitions at the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY winning The Patteran Purchase Prize (1935), The Water Color Prize, Albright Art Gallery (1937), and the Elizabeth W. Reeb Memorial Prize, Albright Art Gallery ($50) for the finest drawing (1941). Other notable exhibitions included: The New York State Exhibition, Syracuse (1941); Chicago Institute, Chicago, IL (1941); U.S. Government Section of Fine Arts (1941); Academy of Fine Arts Traveling Exhibit (1941-42); and the Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA (1953-58).

By 1946, Grace was a resident of New York City where she was an art instructor at the Little Red School House of Art which was a private elementary school in Greenwich Village, lower Manhattan, NYC (now the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School). Her work is represented in the permanent collection of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY as well as many private collections. She died August 30, 1987 at the age of 87 in Rockport, MA.


Chronology:

1899- December 7, born, Buffalo, NY, to father William D. Barron (1863-) and mother Grace E. (née McKeown) Barron (1872-).

By 1900- The family was residing in Lyme, NY.

Circa 1906-1909- The family resided in Watertown, NY and her father was the president of the American Paint and Roofing Co., and her mother was a professional singer.

Circa 1909-1912- The family resided in Elmira, NY.

1912- June, Grace graduated from grammar School No. Eleven, Elmira, NY.

From 1912-1918- Her early high school education was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Circa 1918-1922- She initially studied for four months at the University of Toronto and later studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA (on Newbury St., now defunct), while still living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1922- February 1922, she first visited Rockport, MA. June, she graduated from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts & Crafts with the highest honors and won the gold medal, Boston, MA.

From 1922-23- Summers, she began to paint and study art with the famous landscape painter Aldro Thompson Hibbard (American, 1886-1972), Rockport, MA.

Circa 1922-1946- She resided in Buffalo, NY, while also visiting Rockport, MA on and off during the summers.

1923- October 13, She traveled to Europe with her mother, visiting France, Spain, Italy, British Isles, and Switzerland for a year to study and travel, and they returned August 12, 1924.

1928- She returned to France to further her art studies at the American School for Painting called The École des Beaux-Arts at Fontainebleau, France and returned September 14 of that year.

1929- Exhibited, group show, “35th Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. November 17-??, exhibited, “22rd Annual Thumb Box Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. November 30-December 31, exhibited two-person show, Grace Barron and Ruth Erb (Hoffman), Grace showed oils & watercolors of studies done in France while she had studied at the American School École des Beaux-Arts at Fontainebleau, as well as of New England, Rockport, MA and Martha’s Vineyard, 162 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY.

1930- November 15-December 14, Exhibited, group show, “23rd Annual Thumb Box Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1931- She again traveled to France, and also visited Germany and England.

Circa 1931-42- She working as an art teacher and was head of the art department at the Elmwood-Franklin School, Buffalo, NY.

1932- March 26-April 9, exhibited, solo show, ‘1st Buffalo Solo Exhibition of Watercolor Paintings and Sculpture’, watercolor scenes of Germany & England shown, Carl Bredemeier Gallery, 327 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, by former students of the American School of Fine Arts at Fontainbleau, France, held at the Architectural League of New York, NYC.

From 1932-1964- She spent her summers in Rockport, MA.

1933- January 15-31, exhibited, groups show, ‘All Buffalo Subjects’, Buffalo Society of Artists, Grace showed three paintings “Marathon Dance”, “Delaware Park Lake” and “July—the Front”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. February 5-24, Exhibited, group show, “Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, large painting by Grace Barron titled “Marathon Dance” was shown, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. May, Grace along with fellow artists Ruther Erb Hoffmann (American, 1902-1968), Carl Bredemeier (American, 1892-), Harold LeRoy Olmstead (American, 1886-1972), Evelyn Rumsey Lord (American, 1877-1963), Louisa Winslow Robbins (American, 1898-1962), Virginia Tillou (née Eller, American, 1906-1995), Grace Allison Barron (American, 1899-1987) and Martha Visser’t Hooft (American, 1906-1994) founded the Patteran Society of artists, Buffalo, NY.

1934- January 25-February 3, exhibited, group show, “Fifth Annual Exhibition of the Fontainbleau Group”, Barron’s watercolor painting “Circus Day” was shown, Argent Galleries, NYC. March 3-31, exhibited group show, “First Annual Exhibition of Works of Art by Residents of Western New York”, Grace showed watercolors & pastels, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1935- Exhibited, group show, “Art of Today”, featuring over 100 paintings and 35 pieces of sculpture from the Post-War period, sponsored by the Women’s Advisory Board of which Grace Barron was a member of, Albright Art Gallery, South Wing, Buffalo, NY.

From 1935-44- Exhibited, group shows (Purchase Prize 1935 for painting "Looking Down on Gloucester"), The Patteran Society of artists annual shows, Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright Knox Art gallery), Buffalo, NY.

1936- March 6-April 5, exhibited, group show, “3rd Annual Exhibition of Artists of Buffalo and Western New York”, Grace showed watercolor “Drifting Snow” depicting the drift of snow around a small wooden house, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1937- January, exhibited, group show, “Annual Exhibition of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors” (now the National Association of Women Artists [NAWA]), Grace showed the painting “Winter in Buffalo”, Fine Arts Building, NYC. March, exhibited, group show (Prize $25), “Fourth Annual Exhibition by Artists of Western New York”, prize for her watercolor painting “German Seaside Architecture”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1941- May 5-31, exhibited, group show, “First New York State Art Exhibit”, of oils and watercolors, Syracuse Museum, Syracuse, NY. April 5-May 12, exhibited, group show (Prize $50 Elizabeth W. Reeb Memorial Prize for the finest drawing), “Eighth Annual Exhibition by Artists of Western New York”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Chicago Institute, Chicago, IL. Exhibited, group show, Grand Central Galleries, NYC. Exhibited, group show, U.S. Government Section of Fine Arts. August 6-20, exhibited, group show, ‘Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Albright Art Gallery’, East Aurora Public Library, East Aurora, NY. September, exhibited, group show, ‘Federal Marine Hospital Watercolor Contest and Exhibition’, 200 watercolor paintings shown which were the final result of a federal competition held the previous year from over 10,000 contestants for work suitable to be shown in the Federal Marine Hospital in Louisiana and that the accepted work could be purchased for a uniform price of $30, Whitney Museum, NYC.

1941-42- Exhibited, group traveling shows, Academy of Fine Arts Traveling Exhibit.

1943- Exhibited, group show, sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo, Inc., at the Club Rooms of the Twentieth Century Club, Buffalo, NY.

From 1946-1963- She lived in New York City and also taught art at the Little Red School House of Art which was a private elementary school in Greenwich Village, lower Manhattan, NYC (now the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School), and continued to spend her summers in Rockport, MA at her 11A Hale Street address.

1953-58- Exhibited, group shows, Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA.

1963- Moved to Rockport, MA where she resided for the rest of her life.

1966- April 4-May 15, exhibited, solo show, collages shown, Fitchberg Art Museum, Fitchberg, MA.

1987- August 30, died at the age of 87, Rockport, MA.

Memberships/Associations: The Patteran Society (Founding Member 1933, and also served on board from 1940-43), Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Women’s Advisory Board, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors (now the National Association of Women Artists [NAWA]), NYC; Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA.

Awards/Prizes: The Patteran Purchase Prize, Buffalo, NY, 1935; The Water Color Prize $25, “Fourth Annual Exhibition by Artists of Western New York”, prize for her watercolor painting “German Seaside Architecture”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 1937; and the Elizabeth W. Reeb Memorial Prize for the finest drawing ($50), “Eighth Annual Exhibition by Artists of Western New York”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 1941.

Collections: Alright Knox Art Gallery, “Looking Down on Gloucester”, 24” x 30”, oil on masonite, Gift of the Patteran Society (Purchase Prize, 1935), Buffalo, NY.

For additional information on this artist or for other possible examples of her works, please visit the AskArt link

(Written by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., meibohmfinearts.com, 05/30/14, Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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