Kansas Museum of History
Chitwood grew up in Mound City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri where she graduated from high school and served a four-year apprenticeship in an art studio there. In 1922, Avis settled in Topeka where she spent twelve years in an arts and crafts shop perfecting her watercolor technique and ceramic decoration. She studied at Washburn College (now University) and taught there for a time as well. Chitwood continued her studies in art and architecture at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and taught etching in adult education classes. She claimed: "the strong contrast of black and white has a dignity and strength that appeals to me." In addition, Chitwood worked as an artist and draftsperson for the Kansas State Highway Commission during the years 1948 to 1974. 
In 1941, Chitwood and fellow artist Margaret Whittemore (featured previous artist) traveled across Kansas sketching birds, wildflowers, and other points of interest. Their collaborative work became serigraphs and lithographs that were popular collectables.
|Wittemore and Chitwood|
Shawnee Mission, 1885
Six -color process Lithograph
Woodland Phlox, Ragwort and Dogface Butterfly
Painted block print
10 x 8 inches
Wildroses and Spiderworts
Painted Block Print
10 x 8 inches
Old Halliburton Mill
c.a. Early 1900s
Spencer Museum of Art: Letha Churchill Walker Memorial Art
The only photograph I could locate of Chitwood as an adult is found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/topekalibrary/2919087675/. The photograph was taken in 1965 when she was 71 years old and shows Avis Chitwood surrounded by her artwork. Chitwood's illustrations for publications of the State Highway Commission, Capper's Household Magazine, and other local periodicals, advertised the beauty of Kansas-the "best kept secret!"
1. Avis Chitwood, Kansapedia: Kansas Historical Society, http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/cool-things-dress-from-artist-s-childhood/15114. (retrieved July 28, 2013).
2. Phil Kovnick and Marian Noshiki-Kovnick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998). 46-47.