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University Archives Places Cromwell Collection on Display

May 23, 2013


MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Archives and Special Collections will feature the exhibit, "From the Prairie to the Coast: The Life and Work of Artist Joane Cromwell" through Aug. 15.

The exhibit can be viewed in the University Archives and Special Collections Department on the sixth floor of the Leslie F. Malpass Library, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The exhibit features items from the Joane Cromwell Collection, including photographs, scrapbooks, and letters related to her life and work. In addition, the Western Illinois Museum has loaned two portraits to Archives for this exhibit. The portraits are of Joane and her son, Leslie Cromwell Blakley, both painted by portrait artist and illustrator Loren Holmwood in California in the early 1920s.

Cromwell is known primarily as a landscape painter and is especially noted for her seascapes of the California coast. She was an early member of the Laguna Beach Art Association and a founder and “lifetime exhibitor” at the famed Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts.

Cromwell was born Catherine Strode on Nov. 22, 1895 in Bernadotte, IL, the daughter of Dr. William S and Julia Brown Strode, of Lewistown, IL. After graduating from the Chicago Art Institute she moved to Laguna Beach, CA, where she painted under the pseudonym Joane Cromwell, until her death in 1969.

The exhibit was prepared by graduate assistant Lindsay Hiltunen and Library Specialist Ann Patridge.

"Our goal in Special Collections is to document the life and work of local people," said Patridge. "This collection preserves both Cromwell's early years in Lewistown and her career as a prolific and successful artist. We think this collection will be of interest to researchers, art historians, art lovers, genealogists and local residents."

For more information, contact Ann Patridge at (309) 298-2717 or at al-patridge@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606