Reference Entry

Pereira, Irene Rice

Karen A. Bearor

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Pereira, Irene Rice (05 August 1902–11 January 1971), painter, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the daughter of Emanuel Rice, a baker, and Hilda Vanderbilt. Nicknamed “Gypsy” by her Polish immigrant father, she was the eldest of four children. Her mother, a native Bostonian, attended to her children’s “proper” upbringing despite the family’s frequent moves around Massachusetts, from Boston, to Pittsfield, to Great Barrington, to Boston again, each relocation precipitated by the success or failure of Emanuel Rice’s business ventures. At their most affluent, the family lived on an estate in Great Barrington, where Rice owned a bakery and raised trotting horses. Finally, they settled in Brooklyn, New York, where Irene attended Eastern District High School. When her father died, about 1918, she became a stenographer to help support her family. At night she studied fashion design at Brooklyn’s Traphagen School of Fashion and, later, literature at New York University. In October 1927 she enrolled in night classes at New York’s Art Students League, which she attended through April 1931, her primary instructors being Richard Lahey and Jan Matulka. During this period she met Humberto Pereira, a struggling commercial artist of Sephardic Portuguese descent, whom she married in 1929....

Reference Entry.  1327 words. 

Subjects: Drawing and Pastels ; Painting

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