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Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956)


1 of 4

Provincetown, 1922
original woodblock
11 3/8" x 12"
 

Cassis, Southern France, 1923
graphite on paper
9" x 10 5/8", signed and dated

 

Some Flowers from Cornelius Ridgway's, 1932
oil on canvasboard
16" x 18", signed and dated

St. Matthew - Easter Sunday Passion Music, c.1944
gouache on paper
12 3/8" x 9" 


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Artist Information

Nettie Blanche Lazzell was born in 1878 on a farm near Maidsville, West Virginia, the ninth of ten children. Even as a young woman rendered almost completely deaf from illness, Lazzell had an ambitious character. At sixteen, Lazzell entered West Virginia Conference Seminary, receiving her degree in 1898. In 1899, she continued her studies at South Carolina Co-Educational Institute and later at West Virginia University (1901-1905). Lazzell earned degrees in liberal arts, literature, and fine arts – an unusual accomplishment for a woman at the turn of the century. In 1907, Lazzell moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League where, in 1908, she studied with William Merritt Chase in a class that included Georgia O’Keeffe. In 1912, Lazzell traveled throughout Europe with a group of women before settling in Paris, where she enrolled at the Académie Julian and the Académie Moderne. She participated in numerous organizations, many exclusive to women, such as The American Women’s Art Association and the Lodge Art League. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Lazzell returned from Europe to West Virginia where she opened an art school. In the summer of 1915, she traveled to the vital art colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts to study under Charles Hawthorne.

 

In the summer of 1916, Lazzell studied with Oliver Newberry Chaffee, who taught her the method of white line color woodcuts. Lazzell soon became one of the leading exponents of the color woodblock print in America, creating 138 woodblocks between 1916 and 1965. In the winters of 1916 and 1917, Lazzell returned to New York where she continued her studies. As an advocate of Modernism, she joined Société Anonyme, the avant-garde international organization that promoted and validated abstract art. In 1923, at the age of forty-five, Lazzell returned to Paris and devoted herself to the study of Cubism, studying first with Fernand Legér and later with André Lhote and Albert Gleizes. Explaining his technique for creating an abstract composition, Legér wrote an essay especially for Lazzell. Under the direction of Gleizes, Lazzell produced several series of Cubist drawings based on the “Golden Section” - an ancient mathematical method for exploring form and space in simplified Cubist composition. Lazzell closely followed Legér’s and Gleize’s teachings and her work became increasingly abstract. In 1924, Lazzell returned to West Virginia and she never again traveled to Europe. She returned to Provincetown in 1926 and thereafter Provincetown was her primary summer residence. For the next thirty years, she was an active artist, exhibiting frequently and teaching art classes in her Provincetown studio. In 1933, the Great Depression forced Lazzell to return to Morgantown, West Virginia, where she was one of two local artists employed by the Public Works of Art and the WPA. Lazzell, an influential American Cubist and a pioneer of Modernism, died in Morgantown, WV in 1956.

1898       
West Virginia Conference Seminary

1899       
South Carolina Co-Educational Institute, Edgefield, South Carolina

1901-05      
West Virginia University

1907-08       
Art Students League, New York, NY

1912       
Académie Julian, Paris, France Académie Moderne, Paris, France

1915       
Cape Cod School of Art, Provincetown, MA
 

SELECTED MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX
The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR
The Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NJ
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, MI
Federal Reserve Board Art Gallery, Washington, DC
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC
Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH
The Huntington Library Collection and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York, NY
The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
The New York Public Library, New York, NY
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers State University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

1914
Exhibition of Paintings by Blanche Lazzell, Main Street Building, Morgantown, WV

1915
Exhibition of Paintings by Blanche Lazzell, Fleming Building, Morgantown, WV

1916
Exhibition of Paintings by Blanche Lazzell, Masonic Temple, Morgantown, WV

1925
A Collection of Wood Block Prints by Blanche Lazzell of Boston and Paris, Berkeley League of Fine Arts, Berkeley, CA
Miller Gallery, Chicago, IL

1926
Artist Guild, Springfield, MA
Wisconsin Society of Fine and Applied Arts, Milwaukee, WI
Louisville Art Club, Louisville, KY
Woman’s Club, Morgantown, WV

1927
Howe Library, Hanover, NH
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; 1930

1928
Russell Sage College, Troy, NY
Teacher’s College, Albany, NY
Berkeley League of Fine Arts, Berkeley, CA
Washington University, Seattle, WA
Los Angeles Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA
Gallery Beaux Art, San Francisco, CA

1929
The Little Studio, Boston, MA
School of Social Research, New York, NY

1930
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; 1932
Federated Woman’s Clubs of West Virginia, Weston, WV
College Woman’s Club, Schenectady, NY
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

1931
Woman’s Club, Waynesburg, PA
University Gallery, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; 1936
Colony Club of Detroit, Detroit, MI

1932
Allied Artists of Charleston, Charleston, WV; 1935
Blanche Lazzell, New York Society of Women Artists, Squibb Building, New York, NY

1933
State Normal School of Fredonia, Fredonia, NY
English Department, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, WV
Art Club, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, WV
Delta Gamma Sorority, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Horace Crandall Gallery, Binghamton, NY
University Woman’s Club, Martinsburg, WV
Hudson Galleries, Detroit, MI
Amuse Club, Morgantown, WV

1934
Wichita Art Association, Wichita, KS
Westover Art Club, Morgantown, WV
South Park Grade School, Morgantown, WV
Wood Block Prints by Blanche Lazzell, Gillespie Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

1935
Junior League, Huntington, WV
West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV
Woman’s Club, Weston, WV; 1936
Woman’s Club, Charleston, WV
Department of Home Economics, High School, Clairton, PA
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

1936
Bend of the Road Gallery, Whitman, MA
Woman’s Club, Larchmont, NY
The Stone House, Morgantown, WV
State Teachers College, Potsdam, NY
Hudson Galleries, Detroit, MI
Delphic Studios, New York, NY; 1937, 38

1937
Woman’s Club, North Attleboro, MA
Public Library, North Attleboro, MA
Pauline Stone Gallery, Springfield, MA
Redding Woman’s Club, Redding, MA
Paper Mills Playhouse, Short Hills, NJ
An Exhibition of Wood Block Prints by Blanche Lazzell, Delphic Studios, New York, NY

1938
Martin Luther Gallery, Palm Beach, FL
Woman’s Club, Public Library, Clarksburg, WV

1941
State Teachers College, Superior, WI

1979
Blanche Lazzell, Galleries A/B, Creative Arts Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

1982
Pioneer American Cubist, Works from 1920-1950, Martin Diamond Fine Art, New York, NY 

1985
Blanche Lazzell: Woodblock Prints in Color, Martin Diamond Fine Arts, New York, NY

1991
Blanche Lazzell: A Modernist Revisited, Archives of American Art, New York Regional Center, New York, NY

2000
Blanche Lazzell: American Modernist, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
Blanche Lazzell: A West Virginia Woman’s Contribution to Early Modern Art, The West Virginia University College of Creative Arts, Morgantown, WV

2002
From Paris to Provincetown: Blanche Lazzell and the Color Woodblock, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
 

1913
The Eighth Annual Exhibition, Lodge Art League, Holy Trinity Lodge, Paris, France

1915
First Annual Exhibition, Provincetown Art Association, Town Hall, Provincetown, MA

1916
Second Annual Exhibition, Provincetown Art Association, Town Hall, Provincetown, MA

1917 
Provincetown Art Association, Provincetown, MA; 1920, 1925–38, 40
First Annual Exhibition, Society of Independent Artists, Grand Central Palace, New York, NY

1918
Boston Art Club, Boston, MA; 1920, 26, 27
Philadelphia Watercolor Club, Philadelphia, PA; 1919, 21, 23, 1926–36

1919
Wood Block Prints in Color by American Artists, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, MI
First International Print Exhibition, Museum of History, Science and Art, Los Angeles, CA
Four Provincetown Painters, Touchstone Gallery, New York, NY
Academy Art Shop, New York, NY
Smalley Gallery, Estes Park, CO
Ann Arbor Art Association, Ann Arbor, MI
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
John Herron Art Institute of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Hackley Gallery of Fine Arts, Muskegon,
Baltimore Watercolor Club, Baltimore, MD; 1920, 21, 23, 27, 31
Chicago Society of Etchers, Chicago, IL

1920
International Society of Print Makers, Los Angeles, CA; 1921, 27, 28, 29
C.L.W. Art Club, New York, NY; 1929
New York Society of Independent Artists, New York, NY; 1921, 23, 29, 36, 38
Brown-Robertson Gallery, New York, NY
Tower Studio, Chicago, IL
Provincetown Printers, Provincetown, MA; 1921
Gallery on the Moors, Gloucester, MA

1921
Wood Block Prints with the Provincetown Painters, Brown-Robertson Gallery, New York, NY; London, England
Block Prints and Monotypes by Provincetown Group of Block Printers, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
New Orleans Watercolor Club, New Orleans, LA
Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario
Topeka Museum, Topeka, KS; 1928, 29
Wichita Art Association, Wichita, KS; 1928–31, 35, 1937–40

1923
American Women’s Art Association, Paris, France; 1924, 26
Salon d’Automne, Paris, France; 1924–28, 30

1925
L’Art d’aujourd’hui Exposition Internationale, Salon d’Automne, Paris, France
New York Society of Women Artists, New York, NY; 1926–29, 34, 1937– 41
National Arts Club, New York, NY
Sail Loft Club, Provincetown, MA; 1926-29
Delgado Museum, New Orleans, LA

1926
Second Annual Exhibition, The New York Society of Women Artists, Anderson Galleries, New York, NY  
Weyhe Gallery, New York, NY

1927
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA; 1928–33
Print Club, Philadelphia, PA; 1929, 1931-34, 36, 37, 40, 41
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; 1928, 29, 31, 32

1928
Third Annual Exhibition, The New York Society of Women Artists, Anderson Galleries, New York, NY
Exhibition of Provincetown Artists, Macy’s, New York, NY

1929
First Members Exhibition, The New England Society of Contemporary Art Inc., Boston Art Club, Boston, MA
First International Exhibition of Lithography and Wood Engraving, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Art Club, Morgantown, WV
Plastic Club, Philadelphia, PA
Burnsville High School, Burnsville, WV
Pancoast Gallery, Boston, MA
Engraving, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Frances Miller Gallery, New York, NY
The Crafter, Cincinnati, OH

1930
Women’s Club, Morgantown, WV; 1938

1931
Fourth Annual Exhibition of American Block Prints, Wichita Art Association, Wichita, KS
Wanamakers, Philadelphia, PA
Brownell Lambertson Gallery, New York, NY
New York Society of Women Artists, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
International Print Exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Art Club, Newark, NJ

1932
New England Society of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; 1934
J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY
Cape Theatre, Dennis, MA
First Exhibition: Fifty Color Prints of the Year, Los Angeles, CA
Delphic Studios, New York, NY; 1934, 38

1933
The First Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Woodcuts, The Woodcut Society, Kansas City, MO
Sixth Annual Exhibition of American Block Prints, Wichita Art Association, Wichita, KS
American Color Prints, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Blanche Lazzell and Ada Gilmore Chaffee, Allied Artists, Charleston, WV
Junior League, Fairmont, WV
Woman’s Club, Lost Creek, WV
Anchorage Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Art Market, Provincetown, MA; 1934, 35
Increase Robinson Gallery, Chicago, IL
Alvin von Hinzman, New York, NY
Shepherds College, Shepherdstown, WV
Educational Department, American Federation of Arts, Washington, DC

1934
Junior League, Fairmont, WV
Woman’s Club, Clarksburg, WV
National Farm and Garden Club, Washington, DC
Oglebay Park, Wheeling, WV
Morton Gallery, Amagansett, NY and New York, NY

1935
New York Society of Women Artists, Squibb Building, New York, NY; 1936
New York Society of Women Artists, Argent Gallery, New York, NY
Art Week, Jorden Marsh, Boston, MA; 1936–41
Century Gallery (Chicago), Provincetown, MA
Fitzwilliam Art Center, Fitzwilliam, NH
Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland, CA; 1936, 39

1936
The Art Colony, Provincetown, MA
The Studio Club, Nashville, TN
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1937
Art Center, Hyanis, MA
Special Exhibition to Tokyo, Philadelphia Print Club, Tokyo, Japan
Dennis Playhouse, Dennis, MA
Joseph Lazarevich Gallery, Hollywood, CA

1938
National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, New York, NY; 1939
Richmond Academy of Art, Richmond, VA

1939
New York World’s Fair 1940, New York, NY; 1940
Art Guild, Morgantown, WV
Grant Studios, New York, NY
Provincetown Art Shop, Provincetown, MA

1940
Buffalo Print Club, Buffalo, NY
State Teacher’s College, Superior, WI
Monongalia Art Guild, Morgantown, WV
Allied Artists of Charlestown, Charlestown, WV

1946
Library of Congress, Washington, DC; 1948
Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; 1948

1949
Forum ’49, Gallery 200, Provincetown, MA
25th Annual Exhibition, The New York Society of Women Artists, Riverside Museum, New York, NY

1952
Thirteenth Traveling Exhibit, American Color Print Society, Provincetown, MA
28th Annual Exhibit, The New York Society of Women Artists, National Academy Galleries, New York, NY

1984
Emil Bisttram and Blanche Lazzell, Martin Diamond Fine Art, New York, NY

1990
A Spectrum of Innovation Color in American Printmaking, 1890-1960, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX; The Nelson-Atkins
Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

1997    
Singular Impressions: The Monotype in America, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

1999
Drawn Across the Century: Highlights from the Dillard Collection of Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North
Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

2000
The Art of the Provincetown Print, Demuth Foundation, Lancaster, PA

2005
Pioneers of Modernism, ACME Fine Art, Boston, MA

2006
Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawings, The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK