New York City
Best known for her depictions of life in the American South, Anne Goldthwaite was a painter and printmaker who created portraits, figure studies, still-lifes and scenes observed during her student days in Paris and her life as a professional artist in New York City. Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1869, her family moved to Texas when she was young. After her parents both died, probably in the 1880s, she and her siblings were taken back to Alabama where they lived with different relations. Goldthwaite lived with her aunt Molly Arrington and her aunt’s nine children. She must have exhibited artistic talent, for around 1898 an uncle offered to finance her education in art for eight or ten years and took her to New York City. Goldthwaite studied at the National Academy of Design under Walter Shirlaw (1838-1909), and received instruction on painting from Francis Coates Jones (1857–1932) and on etching from Charles Frederick William Mielatz (1864–1919). She spent one summer in Princeton, N.J., where she met then-professor Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) and was commissioned to paint a portrait of his wife. After six years studying at the National Academy, Goldthwaite went to Paris, where she was introduced to Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), and Stein’s collection of art by such artists as Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). She lived in a building known as the American Girls’ Club, filled with for American women art students. Goldthwaite was one of the organizers of a group of artists called Académie Moderne, who met with Charles-François-Prosper Guérin (1875-1939) to critique their works. The threat of war sent her back to New York City in 1913, where she exhibited two paintings in that year’s Armory Show. The National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors awarded Goldthwaite the McMillan landscape prize in 1915. That year she exhibited fifteen of her etchings at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition, for which she was awarded a bronze medal. By this time she had become a sought-after portrait painter. Her subjects included Katherine Sophie Dreier (1877-1952), an artist, writer and champion of women’s rights, who became a close friend. Goldthwaite continued to make prints as well as paint, eventually creating about 320 etchings, drypoints and lithographs. She began teaching at the Art Students League in 1922, continuing until 1943. Most years she spent summers in her native Alabama. Goldthwaite received commissions from the Section of Fine Arts of the U.S. Treasure Department to paint two murals for post offices in Atmore and Tuskegee, Alabama, which were installed in 1937 and 1938. After she died in 1944 in New York City, a memorial retrospective exhibition of her work was mounted at that city’s Knoedler Gallery. (TNB 2/2015) Selected bibliography: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Anne Goldthwaite, 1869-1944. Exhibition catalog. Montgomery, Alabama: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1977. Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme. Anne Goldthwaite: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Graphic Work. Exhibition catalog. Montgomery, Alabama: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1982.