Friday, April 24, 2015

Blanche McVeigh: Printmaker, Gallery Owner, Educator

Blanche McVeigh
ca. N.D.
Etching with drypoint
Spencer Museum of the University of Kansas
Blanche McVeigh, was born in 1895 in St. Charles, Missouri. She moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she grew up. Upon completion of high school, Blanche taught at the local W.A. Huffman School No. 1 for several years with little apparent enthusiasm. Interested in art, she switched gears and attended the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, Washington University during the years 1919 and 1920. After graduating from Washington University, McVeigh decided to become a professional artist. She joined the Wimberly Advertising Agency in Fort Worth in 1923 as an artist and remained in their employment until about 1930. During this time she studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts for one summer and at the Art Institute of Chicago for another. McVeigh subsequently attended the Art Students League in New York City and spent a year in Europe, where she first became interested in the medium of aquatint, a form of etching.

Blanche McVeigh
Tree on a Hill
ca. 1934
Etching with drypoint
7 x 9 inches
In 1932 Blanche joined fellow artists Evaline Sellors and Wade Jolley to establish the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts, where she taught figure drawing and etching and in addition, was responsible for bringing examples of the works of such masters as Matisse, Picasso, and Braque to the city. McVeigh also was manager of the Art Department of the Collins Art Company in Fort Worth. McVeigh and Sellors were founding members of the Fort Worth Artists Guild, the first local institution to display local artists. In 1942 McVeigh completed a commissioned etching for Northern Pump Company, a Minneapolis defense factory; her press at the time was not large enough for the print, so the company owner gave her a large, fine Sturges press, one of only seven made.

Blanche McVeigh
ca. 1940Aquatint
12 x 8 5/8 inches
Blanche McVeigh
ca. 1940
10 5/8 x 14 7/8 inches
McVeigh produced an impressive number of images as she evolved from etchings to aquatints including a series on African American Spirituals. She also did western subjects, among them Fort Worth area landscapes, old buildings, as well as New Mexico themes.

Blanche McVeigh
Adobe Houses
ca. 1941Aquatint
9 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Blanche McVeigh
Cabrini Day Care Center
ca. N.D.
Aquatint on paper
7 x 9 inches
Blanche McVeigh received awards from the Dallas Print Club, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Texas Fine Arts Association, and the Southern States Art League. Her aquatint Gwine to Heaven (1945), a small work representing her impression of the Negro spiritual, was awarded the Lila May Chapman Prize of the Southern States Art League and was reproduced in American Prize Prints of the Twentieth Century. McVeigh was a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Dallas Print Club, the Fort Worth Art Association, Prairie Printmakers, the California Society of Etchers, the Printmakers Guild of Texas, and the Southern States Art League. Her work is included in many national collections, among them the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Institute, Princeton University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution. In Texas her works can be found in the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery in Austin, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, the Amon Carter Museumqqv in Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Art Association, as well as in many private collections. She died in Fort Worth on June 1, 1970.

Blanche McVeigh
Tall Door, St. Charles, Missouri
ca. N.D.Aquatint
9 3/8 x 12 3/8 inches
Texas State Historical Society, Blanche McVeigh,, retrieved April 25, 2015.
An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, Blanche McVeigh, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, p. 215-216. 
Linda Peterson, "MCVEIGH, BLANCHE," Handbook of Texas Online(, accessed April 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
artnet, Blanche McVeigh,, retrieved April 25, 2015.

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