Jessie Drew-Bear, Untitled (Vase of Flowers)

Date
1953
Medium
Oil and ink on canvas
Credit Line
Promised gift of the Drew-Bear Family. Conserved with funds provided by Joly Stewart in honor of Marguerite Lenfest
Dimensions
30 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.

Drew-Bear frequently painted flowers. Shortly after coming to Philadelphia from England in 1905, she opened the London Flower Shop, which she owned and operated for more than 40 years, at 18th and Chestnut Streets. She was known for her sophisticated, high-end flower arrangements. In Untitled (Vase of Flowers) she uses ink lines to describe the details of wallpaper. Her application of paint is varied, with thin and thick paint used in combination to create a variety of rich textures, as on the peach-colored table or the flowers themselves.

Drew-Bear, received a paint set from her daughter on Christmas in 1938 when she was fifty-nine-year-old. With this gift, she began a remarkable career as a selftaught artist whose paintings would be acclaimed in Philadelphia and New York for their sincerity of expression, bold aesthetic, and playful imagination. Although she exhibited in important galleries and museums during her lifetime, her legacy has been little celebrated since her death in 1962. Woodmere presented the first retrospective exhibition of her work in 2014.

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