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Alice B. Muzzey
Alice B. Muzzey (American, 1865-1943) artist, illustrator, craftswoman, teacher, designer/decorator and art-writer, but was well known for her landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes, portraits and outdoor botanical/floral and wildflower scenes in oil and watercolor, as well as furniture designs, basketry and textile work. Alice was born August 9, 1865 in Cambridge, MA, and became a self-taught artist with no formal art education.

As a young artist, she moved to Buffalo, NY, and by 1890, was involved in the local art scene, exhibiting with the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, the parent organization of the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright Knox Art Gallery). In 1893, Alice was commissioned by the Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners to do frieze and ceiling decorations as well as decorating the library for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL. She also exhibited at the Exposition with an aquarelle painting titled “The Fisherman’s Hut” (on the Northern End of Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL), which hung in the Art Palace of the Exposition.

In 1896, Alice opened her first art school studio located on the north side of the 3rd floor of the newly built Twentieth Century Club, an exclusive private women’s club located at 595 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. She primarily taught young children, and her courses featured painting, drawing and design, as well as the history of art & architecture which helped to prepare her students for European travel and art study. Miss Muzzy, as she was affectionately called by her pupils, was a well-respected teacher, and maintained various school studios in several Buffalo locations through the early 1900’s. One notable pupil who attended her Saturday morning classes in the late 1890’s, was the Western New York artist and architect, Harold LeRoy Olmsted (American, 1886-1972).

As well as being a teacher, Alice worked as a studio and commercial artist throughout the Buffalo and Western New York region, traveled to Paris to self-study, and was also a well known contributor to art and travel periodicals. She was an exhibiting member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Art Students’ League of Buffalo, Arts Club of Buffalo, Artist and Illustrator’s Club of Buffalo (Charter Member), Association of Artists and Illustrators of Buffalo (Charter Member), as well as with the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA.

After the move from her art school studio in the Twentieth Century Club in 1901, a newspaper article from the Buffalo Evening News described her new two-story brick school studio on Virginia Place: “…her studio is a bit of the Latin quarter brought over from Paris, one could easily imagine occupying a second story of a shop in Virginia Place and entered by a wooden gate letting in off the alley. The work room has the rough brick for inside the walls and over these just now are hung Miss Muzzey’s color sketches and pictures of the Pan American Exposition. The furnishings are the tables, easels and chairs on which her pupils work, for she has taken her flourishing class of pupils from her former 20th Century Club studio to her present one. The inner reception room curiously enough has a fireplace encased in onyx with mantel of the same…Quaint cupboards and cabinets, oddly contrived seats covered with tapestry and cushions, with curious French candlestick and brass brackets for illuminations from the substantial decorations of the room, while the walls are hung with Aztec hats, baskets and buttons, old French tapestries and other paraphernalia dear to an artist’s heart, and, more important than all, the collection of paintings which represent Miss Muzzey’s work in Paris last year.”[1]

Alice never married and sometime around 1925, she was admitted to the Gowanda State Homeopathic Hospital for the insane (later the Gowanda State Hospital), Collins, NY, where she remained until her death in 1943. She is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.


Chronology:

1865- August 9, born, to father Henry W. Muzzey (1832-1886) who was a lawyer in Cambridge, MA, and mother Ellen Emerson Muzzey (b. Jan., 1831-1913), she had an older brother Austin Kent Muzzey ([Anna née Mosher] 1857-1924), and older sister Marion P. Muzzey-Eppendorff ([John G.] 1864-1947), Cambridge, MA.

1886- March 26, Alice’s father died after being in poor health for some time, Cambridge, MA.

1890- April, exhibited, group show, “Watercolor Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society of New York”, Alice’s watercolor painting of the “Charles River” shown, in the galleries of the Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY.

1891- Exhibited, group show, “Sixth Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York”, Alice exhibited a working drawing for printed silk, held at the Fifth Avenue Galleries, NYC.

Circa 1893- Alice was commissioned by the Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners to do frieze and ceiling decorations ($75), as well as decorating the library ($175) for the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL. Exhibited, group show, “World’s Columbia Exposition”, Alice exhibited an aquarelle titled “The Fisherman’s Hut” (on the Northern End of Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL), in the Art Palace of the Exposition, Chicago, IL.

1895- March 4, Alice gave an illustrated talk on “Classic Decoration” at the studio of Miss Dabney, 243 Goethe St., Chicago, IL.

1896- October 1, Alice opened her new art school studio on the north side of the 3rd floor at the newly built Twentieth Century Club, to feature designing and the history of art & architecture, which helped students for European travel, Buffalo, NY.

From October 1, 1896-November 20, 1901- Alice maintained her art school studio for young children at the Twentieth Century Club which she shared with fellow artist Clara E. Sackett, Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1899- Alice and her studio partner Miss Clara E. Sackett traveled to Paris and the southwestern coast of France to paint and sketch.

1899- February 7, Miss Alice B. Muzzey and Miss Clara E. Sackett gave an exhibition of rare old Japanese prints at her studio in the Twentieth Century Club, at Buffalo, NY. May 24-26, group show, “Exhibition of Children's Work”, Alice held an art show for students from her drawing school ranging from 8-13 years of age, from the last three years of their art study, held at school studio in the Twentieth Century Club, Buffalo, NY. June, Alice and her studio partner Clara E. Sackett, closed their studio and spent summer months painting and sketching in Canada. They reopened the studio in early September. November, exhibited, two person show, “Alice B. Muzzey & Clara E. Sackett”, sketches, oil paintings, watercolors and pastels representing work done in Paris on the southwestern coast of France as well as paintings & sketches from their summer trip to Canada, from their studio at the Twentieth Century Club, Buffalo, NY.

From circa 1899-1902- Resided at 161 Mariner St., Buffalo, NY.

By 1900- Alice’s widowed mother Ellen was living with her, 161 Mariner St., Buffalo, NY.

1900- October 2, Alice traveled again to Paris, France, aboard the S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse to study in the Paris studios for 6 months where she painted numerous portraits and figurative work of peasants and the studio models, and while she was gone Miss Anna Wing kept her studio open at the Twentieth Century Club and had charge of her art classes. November, exhibited, group show, “Summer Sketch Class of the Art Students’ League”, from trip to Sag Harbor, Long Island, NYC, with the well known painter & teacher George B. Bridgman (Canadian-American, 1865-1943) as critic, in the League’s rooms, corner of Washington & Broadway, Buffalo, NY.

1901- November 20, Alice moved to her art school studio located on Virginia Place, Buffalo, NY. December, exhibited, group show, “Art Students’ League Summer Sketch Class”, Pan American Exposition watercolors shown, in the rooms of the Art Students’ League, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1902- March, exhibited, group show, “9th Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, four paintings shown to include: “The Little Dreamer” (head of child wrapped in dreams), “Pan American Exposition Electrical Building”, “A Sunny Day” and “The Luxembourg Garden”, Library Building, Buffalo, NY. March 21, exhibited, group show of five artists, Posters for the Play “Cranford”, by the Art Students’ League for the play on April 12-13, of which Alice designed one of 5 posters to advertise the play which were auctioned off by Frank Warren during the 3rd & 4th acts to raise money for the District Nurses Association. The other artist poster design contributors were: Clara E. Sackett, Miss Anna Belle Wing, Miss Eugenia Hauenstein and Miss Josephine Barnard, Buffalo, NY. May 5-10, group show, “Exhibition of Student’s Work”, Alice B. Muzzy held an art show for her students from her drawing school studio on Virginia Pl., Buffalo, NY. October 21, Alice moved into her new art school studio at 50 Allen St., that she remained at until circa 1904, Buffalo, NY.

1903- April 13-18, group show, “Exhibition of Student’s Paintings & Drawings”, an art show for her students from her drawing school studio at 50 Allen St., Buffalo, NY.

From circa 1904-circa 1910- Alice moved and maintained her studio & drawing school on the 2nd floor of 391 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY.

1904- January 21, exhibited, group show, “Orphans’ Carnival”, to benefit the St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum, Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts, Art Booth at Convention Hall, Buffalo, NY. April 25-May 1, group show, “Exhibition of Student’s Paintings”, an art show for her students from her drawing school, 391 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY. August, traveled for a week to Quebec, Canada.

1905- April 12-13, Alice’s art students held a two-day art fair & sale to benefit the Fresh Air Mission, held at Alice’s Franklin St. school studio, Buffalo, NY. She had moved back to 161 Mariner St., Buffalo, NY.

1906- January 31, Alice became a member of the newly formed Artists and Illustrators Club of Buffalo, organized that same day at the Horton Studio on Franklin St., with a membership of about 45 charter members, with well known artist Burr H. Nicholls (American, 1848-1915) elected as president, and Alice B. Muzzey as one of the directors elected for a term of one year, and honorary memberships were given to Lars G. Sellstedt (Swedish-American, 1819-1911) and Raphael Beck (American, 1858-1947). The mission of the club was “To promote sociability among artists and illustrators and give the club, as well as individuals an opportunity of exhibiting work.”, Buffalo, NY. May 28, exhibited, group show, “Artist and Illustrator’s Club of Buffalo”, in their new location on the 3rd floor of 9 West Chippewa St., Buffalo, NY. June 1-30, Alice taught an outdoor sketching class, Buffalo, NY.

1907- February 2-April 25, Alice traveled to Europe.

1908- Exhibited, group show, “First Annual Thumb Box Exhibition”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1909- March 15-April 5, exhibited, group show, “Arts & Crafts Exhibit by the Buffalo Society of Artists”, basketry work shown, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. April, exhibited, group show, “Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, three works shown to include “Model Resting”, “Sketch-Ravello”, “Roof Tops”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

By 1910-1911- She moved her studio to 506 Franklin, then shortly after moved or expanded her studio next door to 508 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY.

1911- April 17, moved into her new art school studio at the Arts Club of Buffalo, 516 Franklin St. and exhibited that same week, group show, “Arts & Crafts Show”, various basketry weaves shown, Arts Club of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. September, exhibited, group show, “Arts & Crafts Studies”, Arts Club of Buffalo and other cities to include: leather working, carved toys, art glass, pottery, woodwork, cross-stitch, etc., in her studio home of the Arts Club of Buffalo, 516 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY. November 20-26, exhibited, group show, “Commercial Artists Exhibit”, under the auspices of the Buffalo Society of Artists held on the eighth floor in the galleries of the William Hengerer Department Store, Buffalo, NY.

1912- March 25, exhibited, group show, “Arts Club of Buffalo”, garden & home furnishings, 516 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY. May-June, exhibited, group show, garden furnishings, in the gardens of the Arts Club of Buffalo, 516 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY.

1913- Alice’s mother Ellen died, and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY. May, exhibited, group show, “Arts Club of Buffalo”, garden and country home furnishings, pottery, veranda rugs and children’s toys, Arts Club of Buffalo, 516 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY. November 15-December 31, exhibited, group show, “Sixth Annual Thumb Box Exhibition”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Alice’s painting “Vesuvius” was purchased for the permanent collection (#158 in the show), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1914- April, exhibited, group show, “20th Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists”, pastel study “Old House in Palermo” shown , Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. October 1-25, exhibited, group show, “Thirteenth Annual Exhibition of Industrial Art”, a blue raffia basket (No. 695), The Art Institute of Chicago, IL.

From February 1, 1915-circa 1920- Alice resided at 49 Linwood Ave. in a 3-bedroom 19’ x 30’ ‘Brushwood Bungalow’ home & studio made from California redwood that she had ordered as a ‘portable house’ from a catalog for $1,800, to be situated on a vacant lot she had leased from the Buffalo Academy of Medicine with intentions to rent rooms as a source of extra income, Buffalo, NY.


Alice's "Brushwood Bungalow" at 49 Linwood Ave.
(Click to Supersize)


1915- April, Alice had her first spring exhibit at her new Brushwood Bungalow home studio, 49 Linwood Ave., Buffalo, NY. October 9, Alice became a charter member of the newly formed Association of Artists and Illustrators of Buffalo, with well known artist Alexander O. Levy (American, 1881-1947) as president, to be able to hold an exhibition and sale of their works that following December in the Iroquois Hotel Parlors with over 2500 works of art from numerous artists, Buffalo, NY. November 13-December 31, exhibited, group show, “Eighth Annual Thumb Box Exhibition”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. December 6-10, exhibited, group show, “Association of Artists and Illustrators of Buffalo”, Hotel Iroquois Parlors, Buffalo, NY.

1916- November, exhibited, group show, “Annual Thumb Box Exhibition”, a small Italian painting study by Alice B. Muzzey shown and sold, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

By 1920- Alice maintained a home and studio at 446 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY.

1924- February 9, Alice’s brother Austin died of pneumonia at his home, 446 Franklin St. (rear) of Alice’s home studio, Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1925-43- Alice was admitted as an inmate at the Gowanda State Homeopathic Hospital for the insane (later the Gowanda State Hospital), Collins, NY.

1943- Alice died, and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.

1947- January 6, Alice’s sister Marion (Eppendorff) died, Buffalo, NY.

Memberships/Associations: Buffalo Society of Artists, (also on past council and hanging committee), Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY; Art Students’ League, Buffalo, NY; Arts Club of Buffalo, NY; Charter member of the Artist and Illustrator’s Club of Buffalo (one of the directors 1906-07), 9 West Chippewa St., Buffalo, NY; Charter Member of Association of Artists and Illustrators of Buffalo, NY; The Buffalo Branch of New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, Buffalo, NY; Boston Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA.

Collections: Alice’s painting “Vesuvius” from the exhibit, “Annual Thumb Box Exhibition” by the Buffalo Society of Artists, was purchased for the permanent collection (#158 in the show), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Published Articles by the Artist: Article, Suburban Life, “Transformed Packing-Boxes: How to Make Attractive Furniture Out of Rough Cases”, Vol. 4, Pg. 39, Colonial Press, Inc., Publishers, Harrisburg, PA, Boston, MA, New York City, January, 1907; Article, Suburban Life, “Decorative Side of House Furnishing”, Vol. 5, Pgs. 276-77, Colonial Press, Inc., Publishers, Harrisburg, PA, Boston, MA, New York City, November, 1907; Article, School Arts, “Studies in Line”, by Henry Turner Bailey, Editor, Vol. 7, Unknown page numbers, with eleven illustrations in color by Alice B. Muzzey, School Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA, 1907-1908; Article, Travel, “Eleven Days in Sicily”, Vol. 14, Pgs. 215-19, February, 1909; Article, Suburban Life, “Choosing the Ornaments for a Modest Home”, Vol. 9, Pgs. 179-80, Colonial Press, Inc., Publishers, Harrisburg, PA, Boston, MA, New York City, October, 1909; Article, School Arts, “Studies in Space-Filling I The Square”, by Henry Turner Bailey, Editor, Vol. 9, Pg. 586-597, School Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA, The David Press, Sept. 1909-June 1910; Article, School Arts, “The Problem of Space-Filling”, by Henry Turner Bailey, Editor, Vol. 9, No. 5, School Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA, The David Press, January-February 1910; Article, School Arts, “Studies in Space-Filling II The Oblong”, by Henry Turner Bailey, Editor, Vol. 10, Pgs. 28-40, School Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA, Sept. 1910-June 1911; Article, School Arts, “An Evening with the Masters”, Pgs. 552, 684-689, 1087, Vol. 11, The School Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA, September 1911-June, 1912; The Craftsman, “The Brushwood Bungalow”, Pgs. 639-642, Gustav Stickley Editor, The Craftsman Building, 6th E. 39th St., NYC, September, 1916.

Other Publications: Official catalogue of the Illinois Woman's Exposition Board, “World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)”, drawing “Afternoon”, by Alice B. Muzzey, W.B. Conkey, Publisher, Chicago, IL, 1893.

Poster Design: Alice designed one of 6 posters created to advertise the play “Cranford”, which were auctioned off by Frank Warren, April 12, 1902, during the 3rd & 4th acts to raise money for the District Nurses Association and $50- was raised, other artist poster design contributors were: Clara E. Sackett, Miss Anna Belle Wing, Miss Eugenia Hauenstein and Miss Josephine Barnard, Buffalo, NY, (1902).

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

(Written & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 09/2010, Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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