1884 – 1977
Theme/Style – Modernism, figurative, portraits, still life, landscape
Media – Oils, graphite, charcoal
Artistic Focus – Grace Libby Vollmer was, and still remains, a very interesting early California artist due to the bold, original painting and drawing techniques she implemented in the 1920s and 1930s. Her landscapes, still lifes, portraits and figurative work ranged in style from Impressionist, to Cubist, to near-Abstraction, while always being both engaging to her audience and well-received by critics, who saw her work as “vigorous and hopeful,” and “drawn with distinction and painted with fervor.”
Career Highlights –
- Grace Libby was born in 1884 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and grew up near Boston. Her parents were of old New England stock and her mother was a direct descendant of two of the original Mayflower pilgrims. Her father, E.H. Libby, achieved financial success in the 1890s by irrigating a tract of land in Washington State near the Idaho border, leading to the establishment of the town of Clarkston, Washington, and the family relocated there in 1901.
- It was in Clarkston in 1906 that Grace Libby married Ralston Vollmer, whose father was the leading banker in Lewiston, Idaho and reputedly Idaho’s first millionaire. The couple and their two children traveled to California and lived in Los Angeles between 1910 and 1914, and would return to live there permanently in 1917.
- Vollmer had been drawing from an early age, as evidenced by sketches done in art class at her finishing school. Living with her family in Eagle Rock near Pasadena during the 1920s, Vollmer enrolled in Los Angeles’s Otis Art Institute, where she studied with Edouard Vysekal, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, and Edwin Roscoe Shrader, and developed lifelong associations with fellow artists Clarence Hinkle, Jean Mannheim, George Brandriff and Millard Sheets.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.