Marie Antoinette Kennicott

Maiden Name: 
Variant Names: 
Marie Antoinette Fiske Kennicott
Dr. Jonathon Asa Kennicott
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Variant Date/Place: 
Death Date: 1885
48th Street & Dorchester Avenue/Kenwood Ave, Chicago
Active In: 
Chicago, 1855
Painting - Watercolor
Inter-State Industrial Exposition, Hall of Art, Chicago, 1872-1891
National Academy of Design, NYC
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Other Occupations: 
Teacher, Auburn, Skaneateles and Troy, NY, 1951.
Founder, Chicago Female Seminary, 1851-54.
Teacher, privately, 1870-78

From: A. T. (Alfred Theodore) Andreas. History of Chicago, from the earliest period to the present time. Vol 2, page 170.

Mrs. Marie Antoinette Kennicott is one of the pioneer teachers of drawing and painting now living in Chicago, having taught in the Chicago Female Seminary, on Clark Street, as early as 1851. Mrs. Kennicott displayed talents as a child, which were encouraged by her mother, a woman of rare accomplishments, and a teacher in an academy at Auburn, N. Y. By her she was edu- cated in drawing and water-color painting, and by her father in the higher branches of learning; so that, when her mother died, although Marie was but thirteen years of age, she was considered competent to take her place in the academy. Mrs. Kennicott's father, Allen Fiske, had formerly practiced law in New York City, where she was born, but being solicited by many of his former col- lege classmates to open a school in Troy, to educate their young sons, he renounced his profession and entered upon his work at once Later, he removed to Auburn, N. Y., where he became principal of the academy, and it was there, as his assistant, that his daughter became her mother's successor.

She remained at Auburn two years, and afterward taught in the academies of Aurora and Skaneateles, and in the Troy Female Seminary. At the latter institution she made much progress in painting, also acquiring a fine musical education, and teaching vocal culture.

Having lost her voice, through illness, Mrs. Kennicott again turned her attention to painting, and, after spending three years with relatives in Brooklyn, came to Chicago in 1S51, when she opened the seminary, previously spoken of, which she conducted until 1S54. During this year she was married to Dr. J. A. Kennicott, and went with him to reside at Kenwood. She resided there for a number of years, supervising the education of her three daughters, still keeping alive her early love for art.

In 1870, she established a seminary at her own home, which she conducted for eight years. She went abroad, in 1878, with a class of young ladies, and also studied art, making a specialty of water-color painting. Since her return from Europe, Mrs. Kennicott has studied and taught continuously, spending her vacations in New York and Washington, where superior advantages are offered for her improvement, and where her paintings of fruit and flowers meet with a ready sale.

Of Mrs. Kennicott's three daughters, one of them has adopted music as a profession, while the other two have, until recently, been asso- ciated with their mother in her studio.

Mrs. Kennicott has, for three years, made a specialty of portraiture in pastel, crayon, and oil, having some years ago studied in oil under several proficient instructors, especially under William Morgan, of New York City, and in pastel under Professor Mounier, a French artist, as well as other artists.