Martha Colwell

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Artist Details

  • Martha
  • Elizabeth
  • Colwell
  • M. Elizabeth Colwell
  • Colwell
  • n/a
  • n/a
  • 1881
  • Bronson, Michigan
  • 1954
  • 1905: 820 Wabash

    1914-1928: 1373 East 57th St., Chicago, Illinois

    1940 census: 5702 Kimbark Avenue (with 87-year old mother)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • 1904: 203 Michigan Blvd., Chicago, Illinois 1905: 203-207 Michigan Blvd, Chicago, Illinois/820 Fine Arts Bldg. 1909: 1020 Fine Arts Building, Chicago, Illinois
  • Etcher, Pastelist, Watercolorist
  • 1901-1902: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    Student of John Vanderpoel and Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt
  • painted in New York, Vermont, Kentucky
  • Array
  • May 11-June 13, 1909: Twenty-First Exhibition of Water Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Peach Blossoms; Lake in Winter; The Great Pine; Harbor Lights

    1911: Rome, Italy

    January 12-?, 1912: Sixteenth Annual Exhibition of the Society of Western Artists, Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, Michigan; The Lagoon and The Birch Tree, woodcuts

    February 3-March 1, 1914: The Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of Artists of Chicago and Vicinity, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Big Rock, Cornwall Coast; The Sea from Penobscot Lighthouse; The Three Elms by the Lake; Cornwall Coast, England – all prints

    March 2-31, 1915: An Exhibition of Etchings, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois [The Chicago Society of Etchers];    Laura; Study of An Old Man; Woman at the Window; The Pig Sty; Old Man with Hands Folded; Lake Leman; Daddy Gleason

    1915: Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, California

    November 3-13, 1915: An Exhibition of American Wood Engraving, The American Institute of Graphic Arts; Three Elms by Lake; Birch Tree; Lake in Winter; Old Willows; Cornwall Coast; Valley in Wales

    1916: Rouillier Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois [solo]

    February 2-?, 1916: American Block Prints and Woodengravings Assembled by Gustave Baumann, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; 11 woodcuts

    November 1916: woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann, Elizabeth Colwell and Dean Babcock, Carl J. Smalley, McPherson, Kansas

    1916: Annual Exhibition of the American Water Color Society, National Arts Club, New York, New York

    November 5-December 10, 1916: Catalogue of the Fourteenth Annual Philadelphia Water Color Exhibition, and the Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of Miniatures, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; A Woman at the Window, etching

    1920-1934: Annual Exhibition of Works by Chicago and Vicinity Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

    Boston Art Club, 1920.

    1921: American Wood-block Prints of Today, New York Public Library, New York, New York

    Chicago Society of Artists Exhibition

    Society of Independent Artists,

    1925: exhibit of paintings and pastels, The Chicago Woman’s Aid

    1926: The Art Club: First Annual Student Art Exhibition, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

    1926: works by artists of the 57th St. Colony, Hotel Windermere-East, Chicago, Illinois

    1928: Vanderhoogt Gallery, [solo]

    1928: Woman's World's Fair, Chicago, Illinois

    1929: An Exhibition of Etchings, Chicago Society of Etchers; Nude in Settee

    1930: An Exhibition of Etchings, Chicago Society of Etchers;

    1931: An Exhibition of Etchings, Chicago Society of Etchers;

    March 24 – April 15, 1931: Festival of Religious Art: Religious Art by Artists of Chicago and Environs; Blue Madonna

    1936: Chicago Society of Artists, Chicago, Illinois; Blue Madonna

    July 28-October 9, 1938: Art for the People by Chicago Artists of the Federal Art Project, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Autumn Colors, watercolor; Pyramid of Fruit, etching

    1945: Library of Congress Exhibition, Washington, D.C.

    Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition, de Young Museum, San Francisco, California; Lake in Winter, circa 1909, woodcut; 8 x 10.5”


  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

    Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

    Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois

    Los Angeles County Art Museum, Los Angeles, California

    National Gallery of Canada

    Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

    Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Rouiller, Alice. "The Work of Elizabeth Colwell," The Graphic Arts, March 1913. (This was the first and only time a woman designer was featured in this magazine.).
  • Chicago Society of Artists, Chicago, Illinois

    Society of Independent Artists
  • 1915: bronze medal, Panama-Pacific Exposition
  • 1899: contributed illustrations and poetry to editions of the magazine The Blue Sky

    Writer, "The Sketchbook" magazine    -- founded 1904 with Mrs. Will Herrick while students

    Designed type face known as "Colwell Hand Letter"

    FAP/WPA, 1937: etchings, lithographs paintings, charcoal drawings

    worked in advertising in Chicago for such clients as the Marshall Field’s department store and the W.K. Cowan Company furniture store. She was known for her hand-lettered newspaper advertisements
  • page on The Alphabet Tenth Letter blog website - extensive information on commercial and fine art careers, with images

    page on Illinois Historical Art Project website

    page on Wikipedia

    page on Annex Galleries website
  • Parents: Elisha and Nancy Jane Friesner Colwell (?-April 27, 1946); family lived on a farm at Burr Oak, Michigan

    1920 census: her mother had remarried in 1911, now Nancy J. Keller; lives with Colwell

    Siblings:  Frederic, Albert, Fernando, William, Laura