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date: 10 December 2019

Oakley, Violetlocked

(b Bergen Heights, NJ, June 10, 1874; d Philadelphia, PA, Feb 25, 1961).
  • Bailey Van Hook

Extract

(b Bergen Heights, NJ, June 10, 1874; d Philadelphia, PA, Feb 25, 1961).

American painter, illustrator, stained-glass artist and author. Although she worked as an illustrator early on, Oakley is remembered as a muralist. Oakley attended the Art Students League, New York, Académie Montparnasse, Paris, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, but, most importantly, a class in illustration with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia. Pyle teamed her together with Jessie Willcox Smith (1863–1935) to illustrate an edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline (1897). Smith and Oakley and another illustrator, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871–1954), rented adjoining studios in Philadelphia and subsequently lived together in a supportive camaraderie until Green’s marriage in 1911. During her brief career as an illustrator, Oakley completed over 100 illustrations, mostly for novels and short stories.

In 1900 she created a stained-glass window on speculation, which led to a major commission for stained-glass windows, mural decoration and a mosaic altarpiece for a church in Manhattan. That project brought her to the attention of architect Joseph Huston (...

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