Louise Woodroofe (1892 - 1996)
Path to the Harbor, Gloucester, n.d.
Oil on canvasboard
8 x 6 inches
Signed at lower right: L. Woodroofe
Louise Woodroofe was born in Champaign, Illinois, January 28, 1892. She studied and exhibited at the University of Illinois and Syracuse University in the teens. She learned her bold Fauvist techniques while studying with Huge Breckenridge at the Breckenridge School of Art in East Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Woodroofe adhered to the American Fauvist movement as taught by Breckenridge, giving special attention to the scientific analysis of color as it applied to her needs and any given composition. Her brushwork was laid down with vigor and speed. She painted in the picturesque fishing village of East Gloucester alongside Jane Peterson and Eleanor Parke Custis during the 1920s and 1930s.
Woodroofe exhibited at the 32nd Annual Exhibition of American Art at the Cincinnati Art Museum (1925), was given one-woman exhibitions at the Findley Gallery (Chicago) and by 1928 she was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois (1928), becoming a full Professor of Art in 1948. She won numerous awards for painting excellence from 1930-1965 and was voted the “Most Supportive University Faculty Member” at the University of Illinois (1978).
She was a member of the North Shore Arts Association (1931-1937), the National Association of Women Painters and the American Watercolor Society. Her paintings were shown at the National Arts Club and the National Academy of Design. In 1925, she exhibited Gloucester paintings at the 32nd Annual Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum alongside Childe Hassam, Robert Henri and Mary Cassatt. She also exhibited at the North Shore Art Association, Butler Institute of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and in galleries in Chicago and London, England.
Woodroofe never married. She dedicated her life to painting and teaching and she died in Illinois February 15, 1996 at the age of 104, a well-respected painter and college professor.