Friday, 6 August 2010

Katherine Heilner MacDonald

Katherine Heilner-MacDonald
(30-11-1882 Brooklyn, New York - 28-11-1967, Burlingame, California)

American painter and linoprinter

(student of Arthur Dow)

Updated and revised after receiving information by "Chariemandrill" from the UK.

This very pretty Nasturtiums in Gingerjar by Katherine H. MacDonald found at the Flickr photo-site started my research on this artist. A long time nothing much was revealed from the Internet but after this Blogreader gave me some clues Katherine starts emerging from of obscurity.
Cup of gold, woodblock

Katherine was born November 30, 1882 Brooklyn, New York as the daughter of Rear Admiral Lewis (Louis) C. and Mrs L.C. Heilner. Katherine studied under Arthur Dow (!) at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. and at the Federal Art School in Minneapolis. Watercolor and charcoal were her media until 1927. She then turned to and concentrated on linoleumblock printing.

Her biography, by Edan Hughes in "Artists in California (1786-1940)", states she marries in 1932 and moved to Southern California as a resident of Coronado. In 1945 she moved north to Burlingame where she remained untill her death on Nov. 29 in 1967. Member of the San Diego Art Guild.

However .............

The New York times May 3, 1912:

"Lieut. Ray.S. McDonald killed"

"Katherine Heilner was married in Washington March 21, 1912 to Ray MacDonald. They just had returned from their wedding trip when Ray S. MacDonald (27 years of age) and married for only 5 weeks was accidentally killed by a street car at Tillary street on the Brooklyn Bridge approach. They lived in the Mansion House in Hicks street Brooklyn. The marriage was held in quiet because of the recent death of Rear Admiral Heilner".

What a sad story. Hopefully Katherine found happiness after being widdowed so young and early and for 20 years before she remarried (50) and moved to California.

All these bits and ends giving some light to the life of an artist that was obscured for a long time. Maybe now more facts will appear and hopefully more examples of her art.

1935: Exh. Calif.-Pacific Int'l Expo, (San Diego): (illustrated Catalogue, Gallery II, Pages 12 and 226)
1939: Golden Gate International Exposition (woodcut donated by the artist 1933, titled "Aralia".

Works held in Public Places: San Diego Museum, Federal Art School, Minneapolis

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