Zula Kenyon (1873 - 1947) was born in Deansville, Wisconsin to John and Sarah (Clark) Kenyon. "Ms. Kenyon attended the Art Institute of Chicago in the spring, 1899 term. She then took a few years off and returned for the spring, 1901 session and again for the fall, 1901 session." (from AIC response to a collector's inquiry) From approximately 1900 to 1918 Zula lived in Chicago and worked for the Gerlach-Barklow Company, and became one of their premier artists. "While handling all mediums with facility, her favorite is the dainty pastel. Not being satisfied with the materials to be found in the market, she invented materials of her own, since which she grinds her own colors and makes her own board. A peculiarity of her colors and board is that they give her pastel work the strength and brilliancy of oil." (from "Alone" art supplement to the GRIT) Most of Kenyon's subjects were painted before the 1920s and her various themes were: portraits of women, children, a bluebird series, Indian maidens, animals, landscapes and historical subjects.

In the early days of printing, after Zula painted on canvas, the subject was made into a black and white print, then hand-colored by employees of the calendar company. Later the prints were in color. "Zula Kenyon was one of the most popular artists of her time and was well known for her richness of color, perfection in drawing, and beauty of composition. Her work is increasingly in demand by collectors of this genre." (from Vintage Illustration)

 


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