a national organization to show and promote works by professional women artists founded in 1896
June 13, 1923 – February 7, 2021
A guiding light which illuminated our CLWAC for well over 45 years has dimmed with the passing of Carey Boone Nelson on February 7, 2021. Hers was an extraordinary life, well lived: Married to Kenneth Nelson in 1944; matriarch to six children and their growing families; traveller to Mexico, Spain, Iceland and Egypt among others; adventurer who explored caves in New Zealand and heights on Mt. Washington; fun-lover of Ferris wheels, roller coasters and carousels, skiing, white water rafting and hot air ballooning. No surprise, Carey worked as a model at the age of 14; her high style, accessorized with organic bold jewelry of her own design, was a joy.
And, Carey was devoted to us. One of our youngest Presidents, she had also served as Exhibition, Program and Sculpture Chairs, as well as Vice President. In 1985 she was named Honored Member. Later, as a Permanent Advisor, Carey offered invaluable recollections of members and events, perspective and common sense, all with patience and grace. During her presidency the Bylaws were amended in significant ways to introduce more stringent requirements for artist membership and to initiate the category of Associate for those wishing to participate in some activities without the necessity of being juried as professional artists.
Some may remember that the left entry wall to our Annual Open Juried Exhibition was for many years reserved for a work by Madame Chiang Kai-shek. Carey would oversee the presentation of each piece from her friend, prestige the CLWAC happily shared.
Born and raised in Lexington, Missouri, Carey graduated pre-med from Wellesley College and later received her MS in Education from Wagner College on Staten Island. She studied sculpture at the National Academy and at the Art Students League with John Hovannes, Arturo Lorenzani and John Terken. Her favorite medium was oil-based clay (plastelina), casting sculptures in bronze, using the lost wax process.
Her work is represented in museums and collections on all five continents. In the U. S., her sculptures are in the Pentagon, the Missouri State Capitol, the U. S. Air Force Hall of Fame, Colgate University and Wagner College, among many other venues. One of her numerous commissions is the “Douglas A. Munro Monument” at the U. S. Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, New Jersey. Other commissions include portraits of James Madison, George Balanchine, General Jimmy Doolittle, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others. More humorous, her five “Subway Riders” are included in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida. The first sculptor to be given a solo exhibition at the Salmagundi Club, Carey presented many one-woman shows.
She was a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, England; a Life Member of the Art Students League; member of the Salmagundi Club and Fellow in the American Artists Professional League.
All of us who were touched by a personal note, a warm compliment or, best, by her example, will always fondly remember Carey, artist, friend, and inspiration.
JEAN TAYLOR KROEBER
January 7, 1929 – September 7, 2020
In the last three decades the 120 year old Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club devoted to promoting the work of women artists has grown as an organization largely through the efforts of Jean Kroeber, president from 1995 - 1998 and Honored Member in 2003. Jean died September 7, 2020 while residing at her summer home in Hampton, NY. She had deeply touched the hearts of all those who knew and served on the board with her.
Jean was born and grew up in New York City with her parents and siblings in an environment of creativity and commitment to social progress. She attended the City and Country School, progressive school in Greenwich Village which emphasizes “:learning by doing” It was here that she was introduced to Ancient Greek art and also found the school’s clay room, both would be the inspiration for her life as a sculptor. Friends Academy followed and in 1951 she graduated from Harvard/Radcliffe with an AB in History.
As a young professional she worked as an editor in New York City while studying sculpture at the Art Students League with Jose de Creeft. In 1953 she married Karl Kroeber, the brother of her college friend, Ursula. Karl was a professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin where she then moved, their three children were born there. Jean’s interest in sculpture revived in 1967 when the family went to Greece during Karl’s sabbatical. They visited the island of Paros, the site of marble quarries that had supplied the stone for many early Greek carvings. Jean came home with a small block of Parian marble. She was enthralled and inspired. As was her nature, she carefully researched the history and techniques of Ancient Greek sculpture. An exquisite head emerged from her efforts.
In 1970 the Kroeber family returned to New York City where Karl continued his career at Columbia University and Jean established a sculpture studio in their Brooklyn home, later a second studio at their summer home in Hampton, New York on the Vermont border. Their long marriage was characterized by a deep emotional bond and an intellectual partnership. For the next five decades, with energy and determination, practice and experimentation, she studied the history of sculpture and acquired the technical skills needed to carve in both wood and stone. Many of her sculptures were exhibited in juried shows and galleries.
Jean took seriously the responsibilities of artistic community. In addition to her central affiliation with the CLWAC she was a long time artist member and exhibitor at the Salmagundi Club, the Allied Artists of America, Pen and Brush, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, the Chaffee Center for the Arts in Rutland, VT and the Lower Adirondack Council of the Arts in Glen Falls, NY.
Her work has a monolithic quality, a simplicity that recalls Classical and Romanesque carvings with a feel for modernism that relates to the work of Maillol and Zorach. Jean, diminutive in size, giant of intellect created a body of work that had an elegant simplicity, rich in texture and deeply thoughtful. There was always a mood and a contemplative quality to these pieces.
After she was elected to membership in the CLWAC she served as Sculpture Chair for five years and then ascended to the presidency in 1995. In addition to the normal responsibilities of the president, she assumed the task of leading the Club’s Centennial Celebration Exhibition which was a two year traveling exhibit of 100 juried two dimensional works that travelled from the Broome Street Gallery in SoHo to museum and college galleries in the mid-west and the north east. This event put the Club on the national map.
Jean’s interest was always in preserving the Club’s rich history. She appointed a board member to organize and store the Club’s archives and after her tenure as president ended she headed a committee to compile, organize, and work with the material that later would provide the frame work for the Club’s “A Chronicle” a compendium of the Club’s history, presidents, Honorary Members, and award winners. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations. Also, she was always interested in preserving the two medal and two sculpture awards presented at the Annual and the Members’ Exhibition each year in conjunction with cash awards. She quietly donated the cash to pay for the production of these items for the next five years. As a permanent advisor she attended most board meetings, her suggestions were always wise, thoughtful, and very quietly offered. She mentored every subsequent Club president that served, helping to make their responsibilities more manageable.
The Club will miss Jean; there will be no other quite like her.