Lilian E. Whitteker (1895-1978)
A charming group of original still life floral watercolors, incorporating ribbons, vases or pots, and fantastic birds amidst beautiful bouquets, in a fanciful French provincial style. They were painted by Lilian Whitteker, a well-known American artist who spent several decades living in a castle in France. We offer a pair, and also a set of three (as grouped in the images above).
Lilian E. Whitteker began her art career in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was a member of the Cincinnati Women’s Art Club. She was also involved in theater as a designer and actor. However, she spent most of her life in France, painting landscapes, still lifes and flowers. In the mid-1920s she left the U.S. to live with her life partner William Perry Dudley at the Donjon de Montbazon -- the castle keep and all that remained of an historic Medieval fortress in the Loire Valley. Dudley, an American landscape architect, had served in the American army in the region during World War I and became interested in the structure while recovering from a war injury. He returned in 1922 to purchase the site and take up residence there. He embarked upon a restoration project, a labor of love that was finally completed in the 1950s, interrupted only by the Axis occupation of World War II. It is said that the Germans imprisoned Whitteker in a concentration camp for Americans but she somehow managed to escape
Whitteker maintained an active artistic career before and after the war, and counted the artists Jo Davidson and Alexander Calder among her friends. A few years after Dudley’s death in 1965, she left Montbazon, but remained in France for the remainder of her life. According to her niece, Sandi Whitteker, “[i]n 1975, the City of Tours emptied their civic museum to devote the space to an exhibition of her work.”
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear.
“Montbazon.” 37-online.net. 2005. http://www.37-online.net/chateaux/montbazon.html (26 May 2006).
Whitteker, Sandi. “Biography for Lilian Whitteker.” AskArt.com. April 2004. http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/biography.aspx?artist=111812 (26 May 2006).