Josephine Marien Crawford (1878-1952)

Josephine Marien Crawford (1878-1952). Abstract Composition, c.1930. Oil on gessoed cardboard panel measures 11.25 x 7.5 inches; a bit larger in pine frame. Unsigned. Excellent condition with no damage or restoration. 



A New Orleans artist from a large Creole family, her works were inspired by Cubism and the flattened forms and minimalist approach of modernism.

“Described by art critic George Jordan as “one of the most experimental painters of the New South between 1900 and 1950,” Josephine Crawford began to study art seriously in her mid-40s.  In the 1920s she enrolled in the art school of the of Arts and Crafts Club, the center of artistic interest in New Orleans from the late 1920s to the late 1940s. Immediately, art columnists took notice, marveling at the discovery of a previously unknown talent in their midst. One New Orleans critic commented in 1927, “The paintings of Miss Josephine Crawford aroused a great deal of interest not only for their exceptional merit and individuality but also for the fact that this is the first year that Miss Crawford has done any sort of painting.”In the winter of 1927–28 Crawford studied in Paris with French master André Lhote at his academy in Montparnasse, a pivotal time in her development as an artist. Assimilating Lhote’s teachings and the tenets of modernism, Crawford developed a style that was distinctly her own. In 1934, she won the Arts and Crafts Club’s prestigious Blanche Benjamin Prize for Rue Kerlerec, a stark portrait of a Creole widow.  Active through the 1940s, Crawford exhibited in New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Central America.” (The Historic New Orleans Collection).

Birth place: New Orleans, LA

Death place: New Orleans, LA

Addresses: New Orleans, LA active 1895-1941

Profession: Painter, sketch artist

Studied: New Orleans Art Sch.; André L’Hote, Paris, 1927-28

Exhibited: Arts and Crafts Club, 1928 (solo), and after; Montross Gallery, NYC, 1929; Newcomb Coll.; Louisiana State Univ.; Boyer Galleries, Philadelphia, 1935; Central American Art Circuit, 1941; Delgado Mus., 1965 (retrospective). Awards: Blanche S. Benjamin Prize for an outstanding Louisiana scene, Rue Kerlerec, 1934

Work: Historic New Orleans Collection

Comments: An early Cubist in Louisiana, she executed her paintings, portraits, landscapes and still lifes with a simplicity of line to produce strong compositions and an economy of color.