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Sold at Auction: Catherine Wiley

(1879-1958)
Alias:Anna Catherine Wiley

Biography

Catherine Wiley is among Tennessee's most important painters. She played a crucial role in developing visual arts in Knoxville as well as bringing attention to Southern female artists. She was one of the first women to study art at the University of Tennessee, and taught art and drawing there from 1905 until 1918. While teaching at the university, she wrote art reviews for the Knoxville News Sentinel, created illustrations for the Volunteer college yearbook, served as President of the Nicholson Art League, and Director of the Fine Arts Department of Knoxville's National Conservation Exposition. Wiley also studied at the Art Students League in New York under Frank DuMond and William Merritt Chase, and spent summers learning from major American Impressionists such as Robert Reid, Jonas Lie, and Martha Walter. She won two gold medals at the Appalachian Exposition in 1910 for "Most Meritorious Collection" and claimed the prize for the best Southern artist at the Southwestern Fair in Atlanta in 1917. Her paintings, often depicting women in picturesque settings with vivid colors and expressive strokes, were exhibited at many prominent venues including the National Academy of Design in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1926, after the death of her father (1919) and mentor Lloyd Branson (1925), Wiley suffered a mental collapse which ended her painting career. She remained institutionalized until her death, and is now buried in Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville, TN.
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