Reference Entry

Neel, Alice

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00129230
Neel, Alice

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American, 20th century, female.

Born 28 January 1900, in Merion Square (Pennsylvania), United States; died 13 October 1984, in New York (New York), United States.

Painter.

Alice Neel graduated from the Philadelphia School of Design for Women in 1925, but her career was not fully launched until the 1930s, following the death of her first daughter, the break-up of her marriage, and her subsequent nervous breakdown. She was supported by the Public Works of Art Project in 1933 and the Works Progress Administration from 1935 until the early 1940s. Neel painted still-lifes, landscapes, and genre scenes but is best known for her portraits. Her subjects included members of her family, friends, and strangers. As the portraits were not commissioned, Neel was able to express her views about the sitter, though this meant that she sold very little of her work: her sitters were on the whole poor, and collectors found her work unappealing. It was not until Neel stated painting portraits of New York intellectuals and artists – for example, ...

Reference Entry.  1433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Art of the United States ; 20th-Century Art

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