biographie de Ethel MAGAFAN (1916-1993)

Birth place: Chicago, IL

Death place: Woodstock, NY

Addresses: Redstone, WY; Woodstock, NY in 1976

Profession: Painter, muralist

Studied: Colorado Springs FAC with Frank Mechau, Boardman Robinson & Peppino Mangravite.

Exhibited: PAFA Ann., 1939-42, 1949-54, 1958-62; Contemporary Arts Gal., NYC, 1940 (with her sister Jenne); CI, 1941, 1943-45; AIC, 1937-41; WFNY, 1939; MMA (AV), 1942, 1950 ("American Painting Today," hon. men.); NAD, 1940, 1942-43, 1956 (Altman prize), 1964 (Altman prize), 1965-72; Corcoran Gal. biennials, 1949-57 (4 times); Denver AM, 1938-40, 1942-43; LACMA, 1945; SFMA, 1945; Santa Barbara MA, 1944-45; Kansas City AI, 1940; Colorado Springs FAC, 1937-40, 1945; Ganso Gal., NYC, 1950s; WMAA, 1952, 1957; Am. Acad. Arts & Letters, NYC, 1961, 1964, 1969-70 (Childe Hassam Purchase Award); Butler IA, 1963-66, 1968-70; Albany AI, 1969 (Juror's Choice Award); Seligman Gal., NYC, 1960s; Midtown Gal., NYC. Other awards: Tiffany Fnd. Fellowship.

Member: NAD (council mem., 1972-75); AWCS; Audubon Artists; Phila. WC Cl.; Woodstock AA.

Work: Denver A. Mus.; Newark A. Mus.; Woodstock AA; Senate Chamber, Wash., DC; MMA; Munson-Williams-Proctor Inst., Utica, NY; Butler Inst. Am. Art; Memorial Lib., Univ. Notre Dame, IN; Evansville (IN) Mus. Commissions (WPA): USPOs, murals, Auburn (NE);"Cotton Pickers," Post Office Lobby, Wynne, AR, 1939; "Prairie Fire," Post Office Lobby, Madill, OK, 1940; "Mountains in Snow" (with Jenne Magafan), Board Room, Social Security Bldg., Wash., DC, 1941; "Horse Corral," Post Office Lobby, South Denver (CO) Branch, 1942; "Battle of New Orleans," Main Foyer, Recorder of Deeds Bldg., Wash., DC, 1943.

Comments: Magafan and her twin sister Jenne grew up in Colorado, where they both went to art school. She married painter Bruce Currie in 1946 and they made their home in Woodstock near her sister's. She and her husband traveled to Greece in 1951 on Fulbright grants, where they painted landscapes. In 1971 she toured and sketched the American West by invitation of the US Department of the Interior. Best known for her abstract mountain landscapes. Preferred media: egg tempera. Teaching: Univ. of Georgia, 1973; Syracuse Univ., 1976.

Sources: WW73; Ernest W. Watson, "Magafan & Mountains," Am. Artist Magazine (Dec., 1957); Jean Lipman & Cleve Gray, "The Amazing Inventiveness of Women Painters," Cosmopolitan magazine (Oct., 1961); WW47; P&H Samuels, 301; Tufts, American Women Artists, cat. no. 61; Woodstock AA; Trenton, ed. Independent Spirits, 230-31; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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