Videos

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Mary Agnes Yerkes (1886-1989), part 2

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A presentation of her work created by her grandnephew, Craig H. Yerkes, continues.
Mary Agnes Yerkes (1886-1989), part 1

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"Mary Agnes Yerkes (1886-1989) found passion in nature, the love of art and its process," writes her grandnephew Craig H. Yerkes. "She painted, carved furniture, hooked rugs of her own design, and wove fabric on her loom for her own clothes and accessories."

An Oak Park resident for many years, she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Rockford College, and displayed her work at local exhibitions and at the Art Institute of Chicago. You can read her story on her IWA Artist page.

Craig Yerkes has put together a beautiful presentation of her paintings. It's in two parts. Enjoy them both.

Louise Woodroofe

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Raised by her grandparents in a house on Champaign, Illinois' Hill Street, Louise Woodroofe (1892-1996) grew up to be a University of Illinois art professor and a well-known artist, especially for her paintings of circus life. Here Alison Davis Wood of WILL-TV tells the story of her life and her paintings for the Champaign PBS station's Prairie Fire series.
Eleanor Coen

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Born in Normal, Illinois in 1916, Eleanor Coen is a landscapist of urban and rural subjects with an expressionist style of swift brush strokes, heavy impasto, and intricate overlays of glowing color. In the 1930s, she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and established her career working for the WPA/FAP. She taught at the Art Institute and pioneered color lithography in Chicago with her husband, artist Max Kahn. Since the '40s, she has been especially well known for her paintings and prints of children.

In the ‘50s, laying color upon color, sometimes very densely, Coen created her own way of secreting figures into a ground. The ground was always the city, Hyde Park and after 1950 the Old Town neighborhood. Usually Coen's figures were children, now stylized in a way that was neither cutesy nor quiescent, but representing kids as complex, playfully devious, compassionate, emotionally mutable beings.

“To feel deeply, to desire to express those feelings, to be disciplined enough to carry through, to have the training to know how and the confidence to make decisions”…that is Coen’s definition of an artist.

Known to family and friends as Max and Coeny, the couple was Chicago’s dynamic printmaking and painting duo in the mid-20th century, and an enormous presence as teachers and as artists. In this 2000 video, we see Kahn (age 98) and Coen (age 84) at their home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Experience the IWA Project’s Development on Video

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Learn about the university student researchers studying Illinois women artists—what their research involved and what they learned about the artists. Filmed by Illinois State University MFA Susie Mamoun, the video features interviews with students from four universities as well as professors and leading art experts such as Susan Weininger. Also included are video clips of the art and women’s studies students who delivered papers at the first IWA Symposium held at Illinois State University.

You'll hear more about Rockford artists from Sarah Stewart on the full video. Coming soon.

Artist Nell Brooker Mayhew Life & Art Described on Video

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Born in Astoria, Illinois, in 1875, Nell Brooker Mayhew was a painter, muralist, etcher, and art educator in Chicago and later California. She trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, displayed her work in Art Institute of Chicago exhibitions from the age of 16, and produced several murals in the Midwest before moving to Los Angeles in 1908. There she joined the faculty of the University of California’s College of Fine Arts.

In the spring of 2009, the Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara mounted an exhibition of her work and produced a fascinating video (created by Jeremy Tessmer) that tells Mayhew’s story and shows a number of her beautiful paintings.