Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog

Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog, where you'll be able to find information about Early California and Southwest Paintings, including Museum Exhibitions, Current News, Events, and our gallery's new acquisitions of original paintings created between 1870 and 1940 by a wide variety of Early California and Southwest Artists. We'll feature biographies, photographs, links to websites of interest to collectors, video tours, and detailed histories of some of California's most influential and intriguing artists.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Exotic World of Jessie Arms Botke

During the height of her career, Jessie Arms Botke was proclaimed by critics as the greatest decorative painter of the West. The art world consisted primarily of male artists in the early twentieth century, yet Botke quickly earned a name for herself through a strong work ethic and an undeniable talent. She is primarily remembered for her ornate depictions of exotic birds, especially pelicans, geese, ducks, cockatoos, and peacocks, as well as her elegant paintings of tropical flowers, which inspired her to a high level of artistry.
No matter the medium, Botke’s paintings are unique and filled with both wonder and fantasy. From her early plein air landscapes and her decorative friezes to her more mature gold-leaf oil compositions, Botke’s work remained relevant, even in the ‘60s, as a testament to her longevity as an artist and the sheer beauty of her creations.


Jessie Arms Botke
"Ducks and Magnolia"
Oil and gold leaf on board
9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches
AVAILABLE NOW

Born in Chicago in 1883, Jessie Arms began painting and sketching at a young age. By 1902, she had enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago, where she trained under the tutelage of renowned artists and teachers John C. Johansen and Charles Woodbury. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City to work for Albert Herter of Herter Looms, famed textile and tapestry design firm. She later contributed to a series of wall murals done by Herter for San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel.


Jessie Arms Botke
"Magnolia"
Oil and gold leaf on board
13 1/4 x 12 inches
AVAILABLE NOW

After moving back home to Chicago, Jessie Arms met artist Cornelis Botke, who soon became her husband and lifelong partner. In 1929, the happy couple settled in Santa Paula, California’s Wheeler Canyon on a peaceful ranch consisting of ten acres. From her home and studio, Botke became the most exceptional decorative painter of the twentieth century with her bold portrayals of birds and flora, which were heavily inspired by Japanese screens. Later in life, she also proved herself to be a master watercolorist and printmaker.

Click here to view additional examples of Botke's paintings.
Click here for additional in-depth information about the artist and her life.

Call William A. Karges Fine Art at (800) 833-9185 for additional information about available paintings by Jessie Arms Botke and other early California artists, or email gallery@kargesfineart.com.


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