Alice Kellogg Tyler (1862-1900)
Please credit Illinois Historical Art Project and Author: Joel S. Dryer with Debra Corcoran © Illinois Historical Art Project
Among those who stood “at the head of Chicago’s women artists” and could “compare with any painter as regards strength and completeness of work” was Alice DeWolf Kellogg Tyler. A critic once said of her “The best painter, man or woman, in Chicago.”
The women of Chicago prior to the ‘reat fire of 1871’ achieved little in the field of art. Like women of other cities their time was taken up by their domestic duties and social affairs…But since the ‘great fire’ the women artists of Chicago have come rapidly to the front and have made themselves known and felt in every branch of art. Marie Koupal Lusk, Alice Kellogg Tyler and Caroline D. Wade stand, according to common avowal, at the head of Chicago’s women artists, and in their own particular line they can compare with any painter as regards strength and completeness of work.
Alice’s contribution to the world of art warrants reexamination, not because she was one “of the many women artists of Chicago who [rose] to the topmost rung of the art ladder” and admirably promoted the “general standard of western art,” but because she had “few equals among artists of Chicago” as a portrait painter and “won much honest praise” as a landscapist. “[She] possessed an appreciation of character backed by solid technical training that was surpassed by few of the men. She had, added to her schooling here, the advantages of Paris and undoubtedly would have continued to be one of the leaders in our local art circle.”
Alice exhibited on the basis of her artistic merit, not gender, as exemplified by her works that were hung beside paintings by men at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universalle and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was her intent to produce work intelligent work, unlike that of other women artists. She expected to work as hard as any man at her craft, and would exemplify this ethic throughout her career. Her work was described as having a “remarkable union of simple, direct vigor and poetic feeling.” During a career in Chicago, which was cut short at the age of thirty-seven, few artists, male or female, attracted more attention.
Lorado Taft (1860-1936), head of the sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute, referred to her charisma when he recollected an excursion through the Art Palace at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, saying: “She was the soul of the group…. Our progress was constantly impeded by greetings. Everybody seemed to be a particular friend of hers, and no sooner had we rescued her from one group than, to our amused vexation, she would be surrounded by another admiring band. I believe I never knew any one so much beloved by so many kinds of people.” At five feet one inch tall, and size three and a half shoe, the diminutive Alice was a dynamo.
Jane Addams, founder of the settlement organization Hull-House, attributed Alice’s greatness to her “power to share and interpret universal life.” Addams grasped the enriching significance of Alice’s work when she said, “This artist gave us an impression of the openness and at the same time of the mystery of life; of a spirit of adventure and of a spirit of unusual peace; of unending vitality and of repose; of high courage and of sweet humility…”
As a young girl she worried whether she was “to go through life trying and not succeeding.” Success came to her, but “it was like writing one’s name on the beach and the mighty waters come with a roar and every trace of the name is gone leaving the sand as smooth as if no person had with patient care engraved his name upon it.” Internally, the multi-dimensional artist tried to balance, throughout her life, a spiritual appreciation for personal contentment with her ambitious passion for professional recognition. She eventually fell into obscurity while her paintings were locked in trunks for decades, moved from estate to estate, until finally sold in 1981, at Arkansas auction. The time is long overdue to un-box the accomplishments of Alice Kellogg Tyler.
She was born in Chicago on December 27, 1862, the daughter of Dr. John Leonard Kellogg (1811-1893). He was a member of the first faculty of Hahnemann Medical College (founded 1859), which specialized in homeopathic medicine, built a large private medical practice, and was a member of the Unitarian Church. He was also the staff doctor for the Chicago Home for the Friendless, an organization that housed and cared for indigent children. Her mother was Harriet Bencham Scott (1827-1905). Alice was one of six daughters including: Mary Stewart (1852-1942); Kate Starr (1854-1925); Gertrude Elizabeth (1859-1927); Harriet (Peggy) Kellogg Foster (1860-1942), and Mabel Kellogg Rich (1869-1947). After the Chicago Fire of 1871, the Kellogg’s moved to a farm in Washington Heights, which was incorporated into Chicago in 1891. Alice’s parents played critical roles in her upbringing. In her happy family she was never ruled by “iron discipline,” but “free to go or to come to give or withhold, to love or not love” as she “sincerely felt.” She described the stages in her life as “first the happy childhood, then the youth with its widening horizon, new experiences and sad disenchantments, then a rebellion against the evils which tore down our idols, next a resolve…to have all the fun one could since there was so much that was not fun…afterward a feeling that this was not satisfying, it was deadening and distasteful…”
She credited her father as making an impression upon her as a child. From “Papa” she sought confirmation that things “must work out” and correct thinking would “gradually regulate life.” She felt her purpose was to be “a ray to other lives.” From her mother she acquired “influence that filled the home with its hominess and tender attraction.” Always searching “for real satisfaction,” Alice intended to live a good noble life and “keep an inward attitude of joyful patience.”
Besides her parents, Alice’s older sister Kate, a teacher and administrator for the Chicago public schools, greatly influenced her. Over the decades, Kate provided Alice with advice and the encouragement needed to become a successful artist. Kate admitted that “we all try and fail,” but counseled Alice to “put away dreams...else some time you may awaken, and fine your rainbow nothing but cold mist. Read less, exercise more, and above all don’t procrastinate—you know what that means—make up your mind and then act.”
When Alice commenced her art studies in 1879 at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (predecessor to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), she had no idea as to her life’s ambition. “It was simply an experiment,” but later, art became “her life’s mission.” Her instructors included well-known Chicago painters Henry Fenton Spread (1844-1890), Lawrence Carmichael Earle (1845-1921), and J. Roy Robertson (born in Scotland-deceased after 1891). At the close of her first academic year, she had received a first prize, for an oil study from life, and a first prize in the 15-minute sketch competition. The second oil study prize went to her close friend, and future travel companion and studio-mate, Ida Cole Haskell (1861-1932). As winter approached, Alice was part of a new society of “young people of Washington Heights” formed to organize social events. She was outgoing, and throughout her career people would mention her magnetic personality and ability to draw people near. At the close of the 1881 school year, Alice had graduated, and her close friend Ida Haskell had garnered the Gold Medal.
For the 1881-1882 school year, Alice as appointed as an assistant teacher. Having only entered the Academy two years earlier, this was remarkable progress. She worked with established instructors Spread, Earle, and Daniel Folger Bigelow (1823-1910). The school had grown to almost two hundred students, and monied Chicagoans such as grain merchant J. H. Dole, came to take an interest in local art. At his mansion, “a perfect home of art,” he entertained the faculty and students of the Academy, including Alice, at the close of the first term. Support from such wealthy individuals would be instrumental in the formation of the Art Institute of Chicago, and outgrowth of the Academy of Design and Academy of Fine Arts. The following school year she became a full instructor, teaching drawing from casts and life models as well as painting from the costumed model, every day except Saturday.
While attending and teaching at the Academy, she developed a camaraderie with other young women studying there. In the fall of 1880, the Bohemian-born Marie Koupal (later Lusk) (1862-1929), invited half a dozen talented women to her studio for a meeting. The ambitious group continued their meetings, adopted a constitution in 1881, and in 1882 founded the Bohemian Art Club [hereinafter “BAC”]. Saturday afternoon meetings were devoted to work and study.While Alice was among the first members, she had become a regular teacher at the Academy, and had to forgo some club meetings due to a busy work schedule. Membership required passing an examination and the submittal of works to a committee who decided upon the artist’s merit. In summer, the group went on sketching tours; the first, in the summer of 1882, was in the countryside of Wisconsin, where they rented a farmhouse. Later in the summer, Alice traveled with “The Campers” north to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan near Escanaba. The group was comprised of those from the South Side of Chicago, and on at least one excursion she traveled with three of her sisters. The sketch tours, where the women lived together in a “Bohemian manner” of adventurous excursion, became a favorite practice of the Club. During this period, Alice also arranged student sketching trips. Lorado Taft said of these, “A sketching trip with Alice Kellogg was something more to be desired than party or theater. [The students] counted on it for days ahead. They talked about it for days after. She seemed to hypnotize those young girls into seeing and doing.” Teaching at the Academy and membership in the BAC (which held regular exhibits starting in 1883), proved a positive stimulus for Alice and much needed exposure. As a cooperative group, the women of the Palette Club hoped mutual support and a collective effort would advance their budding careers.
That autumn, her work was in the first exhibition of the Illinois Art Association, formed by the all-male Illinois Club, who had established a clubhouse art gallery. One of her paintings from the summer’s outing, Wild Flowers, was purchased by the club. That the club bought one of her paintings was a bit of an honor as their gallery included works by several well-known established Eastern artists. Their sumptuous gallery, a space of 5,000 square feet, with a “vaulted dome made entirely of stained glass” designed for permanent display of the works they collected, for which a fund of $10,000 had been gathered. Unfortunately, in 1909, the art gallery and all its contents, along with the clubhouse, were destroyed by fire. The art at that time was reportedly worth $175,000 containing “…fifty valuable paintings and seventy-five others of lesser worth.”
In April 1883, the BAC held its first annual exhibition, with a formal opening at the Art Institute. Of the twenty-five members, twenty-one exhibited, and garnered considerable favorable attention. Since the press knew little of these women artists, they were judged entirely by their work. A critic commented on the overall “rare merit” of the exhibition. It was noted that “An exhibition by an association composed entirely of ladies… is an event which has never before occurred in this city, and is probably without a parallel in the country.” While the press knew that some members were amateurs, one critic commented that in general, the members were “artists in the true sense of the word,” and there was genuine admiration: “…a considerable proportion of the exhibits deserve more than the conventional ‘honorable mention.’” The only thing the one critic condemned was the “curious inappropriateness” of the Club’s name, while then extolling their virtues by saying, “… works not only marked by much originality and power, but suggestive of the possession on the part of their authors of that rare and indelible faculty which we call genius.” The exhibition turned out to be much more than the critics had expected, and the professionalism of the works “a surprise” to the public and worthy of further encouragement. It is interesting to note that two men from the Chicago Art League had been overheard stating of the show, which followed after theirs closed, “It is better than ours…” and that perhaps the men should seek to hold joint exhibitions with the women; a prescient comment that would come to fruition only two years later.
Alice exhibited five oil paintings, but despite the large number of watercolors by members, she had none on display. While the press only sketchily noted her painting Von Belginland (location unknown: all works of art have unknown locations unless otherwise noted) it pointed to her early confidence in “breadth and vigor of treatment.” Critics also commented on Alice’s “Venetian Page,” a “well posed and clearly painted” figure who wore a crimson doublet and clock. While her initial recognition was modest, in less than two decades, the press would state she was “at the head of Chicago painters.”
Upon return from Northern Michigan in the late summer of 1883, Alice opened a studio in Central Music Hall, with fellow club member Ida Haskell. While Alice was talented, she felt that her “venture was like putting art to sea in a very small craft, but that it was “diverting, gave plenty of variety, was financially a success, and gained for them a greater independence and a broader view of the world.”
When the Illinois Club opened their second exhibition that fall, she showed a domestic scene, The Children’s Corner. Subject paintings of children and mothers would be important throughout her career. One club member was John Clark Coonley (1838-1882), whose widow, Lydia Coonley (later Coonley-Ward), would become one of Alice’s patrons.
At the BAC’s second exhibition, which opened March 14, 1884. Reports varied as to the size of the crowd at the Art Institute opening, hosting between several hundred, and over a thousand people to “almost universal commendation.” Apparently there was a thinning of the membership ranks, now limited to those “whom art has become a serious profession,” and numbering seventeen, down from twenty-five a year earlier.Alice showed seven oil paintings and six watercolors. One title evidenced Alice’s sketching trips from the earlier summer, A Bit of Old Mackinac. A few of her works were on loan, including the one she had sold to the Illinois Club a year earlier, showing that she had already found patrons. Other artists exhibited works with material from club outings in Wisconsin, referencing woods, deserted cabins, and fall and winter themes. Alice’s work The Mellow Eve, was “one of the noticeable pictures in the collection,” and she showed another of what was becoming her most popular compositions Happy Moments, featuring a mother and child sitting on the floor. While the watercolor works were harshly criticized, the oil paintings found ready buyers, and among all the works, fourteen had been sold within the week, and within two more weeks almost a quarter of the one hundred forty-four works were sold, as the exhibition was extended to accommodate public interest.
The year ended with Alice’s work The Children’s Corner, from the Illinois Club exhibition, and The Tired Little Model sent to New Orleans for display in the Illinois pavilion of the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, one of only a few works so accorded this honor. Her studio mate Ida, traveled to New Orleans to accompany the exhibit, taking a break from Chicago, until the end of the fair. It was announced later that both women had won awards of meritorious work for their submissions of artwork, a decided honor.
“Chicago Women in Art: Some are Winning Fame,” Chicago Times-Herald, 2/12/1899, p.21.
“Chicago Women Who Have Gained Recognition in Art and Letters,” Chicago Tribune, 8/27/1897, Half Tone Part, p.45.
“Of Interest To Women,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2/24/1899, p.11.
Op. cit, Chicago Times-Herald, 2/12/1899, p.21.
Ralph Clarkson. “Chicago Painters, Past and Present,” Art and Archaeology, Vol. 12, Nos. 3 and 4, September-October 1921, p.139.
Alice wrote her mother that she was in a state of joy after seeing all the great works gathered at the Exposition in Paris. She thanked a portrait work for her admittance by the jury. Letter to Mrs. Kellogg from Alice Kellogg, 5/23/1889, Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, microfilm 1991, roll 25, no. 4183, frame 332, (numbered 510 by JoAnne Bowie, grandniece of the artist), Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago. [All information from the microfilmed papers comes from roll #25, no. 4182, unless otherwise noted. The frame numbers are signified in each following footnote. Some of the envelopes to her letters were microfilmed and indicate that she directed many letters to her family home. Although some of Alice’s letters were written to a specific individual, many of them were intended for everyone. In the interior of many letters there are comments directed to different family members.] The Alice Kellogg Tyler Papers are owned and were filmed by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, and a gift of JoAnne Wiermers Bowie, 1/6/1988.
Letter 1/3/1886, frame 786.
Letter 10/25/1886, frame 1207.
“Pictures that Attract Attention,” Chicago Tribune, 4/25/1891, p.1.
Lorado Taft, “A Memory,” Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4. Taft was an admirer of her work. In comparing a maternity themed painting by Ernest Ange Duez (1843-1896) at the Paris Salon, he had used her work as an example of “the mother-tenderness” so important in such work. Lorado Taft, “The Salons of 1895,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 6/30/1895, p.21.
Jane Addams, The Excellent Becomes the Permanent, (New York: The MacMillan Company,1932), pp.51-58.
“Alice Kellogg Thought Book,” 10/5/1875, frame 826. This was a notebook in which she appears to have journaled and responded to her sister Kate Kellogg’s comments.
Op. cit., “Alice Kellogg Thought Book.”
Mount Greenwood burial records state “No. 8024, Name of Deceased: Alice Kellogg Tyler, Age: 37 yrs.-1 mo.-17 da, Date of Death: 2/14/1900.
“Faculty,” The first annual announcement of the Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, lllinois: session of 1860-61, (Chicago: Hyatt Brothers, Printers, 1860), “J. L. Kellogg, M.D.: Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children,” preface (pp.4-5). A. T. Andreas, “Hahnemann Medical College,” History of Chicago: From the earliest period to the present time, Vol. 2, (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884-1886), p.541. Andreas lists his service on the faculty until 1863, however his obituary states he was on faculty until retiring in 1872. “Obituary: John Leonard Kellogg, M.D.,” Daily Medical Century: An International Journal of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 1, No. 2, 5/29/1893, p.11. Hahnemann merged with Chicago Homeopathic Medical College in 1904, before that school closed in 1922. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_medical_schools_in_the_United_States#cite_note-AMA-2 accessed 1/18/2021. The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Vol. 3: Creating Hull-House and an International Presence, 1889-1900, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019), p.423: “She grew up in Chicago, attended the Unitarian Church, developed what became a lifelong interest in metaphysical subjects.”
“Annual Meeting of the Home For the Friendless,” Chicago Tribune, 1/8/1863, p.4. “Home of the Friendless,” Chicago Tribune, 7/8/1864, p.
Kate was a principal at Chicago’s Lewis-Champlin School and the Cook County Normal School and a school superintendent, also a suffragist. https://digital.janeaddams.ramapo.edu/items/show/2116 accessed 1/11/2021.
“Numbered With The Dead: Dr. John Leonard Kellogg,” Chicago Tribune, 4/30/1893, p.5. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1318.html accessed 1/17/2021. Joanne Bowie, “Alice DeWolf Kellogg Tyler,” in Women Building Chicago 1790-1900: A Biographical Dictionary, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), pp.468-70.
Letter, Winter 1887-1888, frame 901.
Letter #50, Winter 1887-1888, 4182, frame 900.
Op. cit., letter #50, winter 1887-1888.
Letter #530, 6/28/1889, frame 357.
Op. cit., letter #50, winter 1887-1888.
Letter, dated 1875, frame 827.
“Art and Artists,” The Graphic, Vol. 6, No. 6, 2/20/1892 on page, but is the 2/27 issue, p.154. Hereinafter, the earlier date is used, despite the publication’s misprint, for purposes of future reference location.
Further information on Spread may be found at https://www.valpo.edu/brauer-museum-of-art/.
The prize carried free tuition for one term. Box 20, Director W.M.R. French, School Records, 1879/80-1906/07, file folder 1879. Someone recorded in pencil “Alice D. Kellogg of Washington Hts. first prize oil studies from life and tuition receipt one term and first prize fifteen-minute sketches.” In “Academy Of Fine Art: Close of the Spring Term - Distribution of Prizes,” Chicago Tribune, 6/30/1880, p.3, her name is mistakenly stated for the first prize as “Miss Alcie D. Hastings.” “The City,” Chicago Tribune, 7/1/1880, p.8. “Artful Designs: End of the School Year of the Academy of Fine Arts—Annual Exhibition,” AIC Scrapbooks, Vol. 1, p.4. Mary McIsaac of the Office of Registrar of the School of the Art Institute confirmed in a letter to Andy Martinez dated 11/3/1989, that Alice Kellogg was a graduate of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1880. Her schoolwork is mentioned as one of the pupils who “whose work makes the best appearance” in “Academy Of Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 12/24/1879, p.8. The school was known in 1878 and 1879 as the Chicago Academy of Design and then the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. In 1882 it was renamed the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
“Beyond the Borders: Washington Heights,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/4/1880, p.6.
Some biographies state she graduated with honors. However, this cannot be confirmed. An extensive list of those receiving awards may be found in “Students In Art,” Chicago Tribune, 6/29/1881, p.6.
“Studio and Gallery,” Chicago Tribune, 9/25/1881, p.5. “Art in Chicago,” Chicago Tribune, 10/2/1881, p.6.
“Teachers,” Circular of the School of Instruction, Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, c.9/1881, Ryerson Library archives.
“A Home of Art,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/24/1881, p.13. “Social Events,” Chicago Tribune, 12/24/1881, p.5.
Joel S. Dryer, “The Demise of the Chicago Academy of Design and the Rise of the Art Institute of Chicago,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Vol. 113, No. 3, Winter 2020, cover article.
Prospectus and Catalogue of the Schools of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts 1882-1883, p.6, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Catalogues, 1879-1900, Box bar code 3501300819 1688.
“A Lady Who Is Prominent Among Chicago Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 5/22/1891, p.5. “Art and Artists,” Graphic, 2/20/1892, p.136. For a thorough history of the club’s earliest years see, Maude Elliot, editor, Art and Handicraft in the Woman’s Building of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Report of the Illinois Woman’s Exposition Board. Section of the Fine Arts, (Chicago: Illinois Woman’s Exposition Board, 1894), pp.45-47. Announcement of incorporation is made in “New Incorporations,” Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1892, p.10. For detail on Marie Koupal’s early career see, “Art In Chicago: A Case of Genuine Genius Which Should Be Encouraged,” Chicago Tribune, 8/14/1891, p.6.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Times, 4/26/1891, p.30. “Palette Club Exhibit, Fine Work by Fair Hands,” Chicago Record, Morning News, 4/25/1891, p.4.
“Art and Artists,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/23/1882, p.9.
“The Palette Club: Old Friends Under a New Name Give a pleasing Art Reception,” Daily Inter Ocean, 4/3/1889, p.6.
“Notes from the Galleries and Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 7/23/1882, p.7. S. R. Koehler, compilation, The United States Art Directory and Year-Book (New York: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1882). p.27.
“Back Home,” Daily Inter Ocean, 9/2/1882, p.16, mentions that Alice had returned to Chicago from the Escanabe area. “The Countess,” Chicago Tribune, 8/9/1894, p.3, goes into greater detail about the group, and a trip to Escanaba.
Op. cit., Art and Handicraft in the Woman’s Building…, 1894, p.45.
Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4.
For instance, in March 1882, she and about 250 others, gathered at the E. W. Blatchford residence for a reception. “Art In Chicago: Reception to the Students of the Academy of Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 3/26/1882, p.16. In the AIC Scrapbooks, Vol. 3, no frame number, is an invitation: “The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Mr. & Mrs. E.W. Blatchford, Cordially Invite the Students of the Art School to their Residence, 375 La Salle Avenue on Friday Afternoon, March 24th, 1882, from 3 to 6 o’clock.”
The purchase was later noted in “Art and Artists,” Daily Inter Ocean, 3/31/1883, p.3.
“Art,” Chicago Tribune, 12/28/1884, p.11.
“The Illinois Club,” Chicago Tribune, 11/29/1882, p.5. “Art Matters,” Chicago Tribune, 11/19/1882, p.9. “The Illinois Club: A Successful and Pleasant Entertainment,” Chicago Tribune, 12/24/1884, p.8.
“Many Fires Mark Record Cold Day,” Chicago Tribune, 1/7/1909, p.1.
Op. cit., Daily Inter Ocean, 3/31/1883, p.3.
First Annual Exhibition of the BAC [Bohemian Art Club], (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 4/3/1883). “Opening Exhibit of the Bohemian Art Club,” unknown newspaper clipping, 4/1/1883 (surmised by the text), Joanne Bowie scrapbook of Alice Kellogg Tyler articles.
For example, “Crayon and Canvas,” Chicago Times, 4/1/1883, p.8. Multiple articles discuss the quality of the works and are cited in the following text.
“The Bohemian Art Club,” Chicago Evening Journal, 4/4/1883, p.4.
“Symphonies in Color,” Sunday Chicago Times, 4/8/1883, p.15.
Op. cit., unknown newspaper clipping, 4/1/1883 (surmised by the text), Joanne Bowie scrapbook of Alice Kellogg Tyler articles.
“Art and Artists: Bohemian Art Club Exhibition of Sketches and Paintings,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/1883, p.10.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/8/1883, p.10.
Op. cit., Chicago Times, 4/8/1883, p.15.
“The Bohemian Art Club,” unknown newspaper clipping, 4/4/1883 by inference, Joanne Bowie scrapbook of Alice Kellogg Tyler.
Op. cit., First Annual Exhibition of the BAC, 4/3/1883).
Op. cit., The Chicago Times, 4/8/1883, p.15.
Op. cit., Chicago Times, 4/1/1883, p.8.
Isabel McDougall, “Art And Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 3/21/1896, p.10.
Dated sketches “Mackinac Island, Aug. 6, 1883” and “Old Grave yard, Mackinac Island, Aug. 6, 1883,” are found in frames 684 and 591 of the Alice Kellogg Tyler Papers, Archives of American Art. Her excursion with three sisters was discussed in op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 8/9/1894, p.3, when the sailing ship had momentarily been lost sight of near Manitou Island, MI.
“Chicago Artists,” Daily Inter Ocean, 9/2/1883, p.13.
Blanche M. Howard, “Society of Western Artists. Chicago Group,” Arts For America, Vol. 7, No. 7, March 1898, p.404. Op. cit., The Graphic, 2/27/1892, p.154.
“Reception: The Illinois Art Association's Exhibition of Paintings at the Illinois Club,” Chicago Tribune, 11/9/1883, p.3. “Art And Artists,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 11/11/1883, p.13. For information on the club itself see, The Illinois Club Chicago. 154 Ashland Avenue, (Chicago: The Illinois Club, 1893), accessed at https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiuo.ark:/13960/t6251j82b&view=2up&seq=6&size=175, on 1/17/2021.
“Bohemians In Art,” Chicago Tribune, 3/15/1884, p.12.
“Art And Artists: The Bohemian Club,” Daily Inter Ocean, 3/15/1884, p.2.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 3/15/1884, p.12.
The Second Annual Exhibition of the Bohemian Art Club, (Chicago: Bohemian Art Club and Art Institute of Chicago, 3/14/1884).
Op. cit., The Second Annual…, 1884.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 3/15/1884, p.12.
“Chicago Art: The Aquarelles in the Collection of the Bohemian Art Club,” Chicago Tribune, 3/23/1884, p.11. “Art Notes,” Chicago Tribune, 4/5/1884, p.9.
“The Chicago Painters,” Chicago Tribune, 11/30/1884, p.13. It was reported that Ida had given up her studio in Chicago. See also, “Nearing the End,” Daily Inter Ocean, 4/15/1885, p.12. It was later reported that Ida was teaching in New Orleans. Both Ida and Alice’s works were discussed in “Woman's Kingdom,” Daily Inter Ocean, 9/5/1885, p.11.
“Women's Awards: The New Orleans Exposition,” Daily Inter Ocean, 9/26/1885, p.11.
As 1885 opened, Alice found herself among a new organization of young, but talented men and women painters, the Western Artists’ Association. Their first exhibition was held in January at the Illinois Club, where Alice exhibited a piece entitled Happy Moments, which one critic said was a “little gem” and that due to its low location on the wall “the backs bent for a look were not a few.” She exhibited again with the group, the following year, before it disbanded, and was superseded by the Chicago Society of Artists.
On April 29, 1885, the Art Institute hosted the BAC’s third annual exhibition. There was a “large and enthusiastic gathering” to view the one hundred and nine works. The Tribune critic noted that Alice’s painting, A Song, was “the best thing ever done” by her, continuing, “The treatment is broad and bold, and the picture is clearly the work of an artist who has good ideas and good command of material.” Fading, was described by the same critic as “a capital work,” while two others showed an “abundance of versatility.”Another critic stated emphatically, that A Song, featuring a gypsy girl with her mandolin, was “The most important as well as the strongest picture of the exhibit…”
Alice had resigned her regular school year duties at the School of the Art Institute beginning in the fall term of October 1884. However, in the Summer of 1885, she and Ida Haskell, who had returned from New Orleans, were charged with teaching a summer program at the School. It was reported, some ten years later, that she had left regular teaching at the school to take private students, where perhaps, she thought this to be more remunerative. It was noted that “she taught her classes in one or another of the business blocks in the heart of the city.”
In the summer of 1885, she and studio mate Ida Haskell took a class of students on a sketching trip to the picturesque Wisconsin Dells. This trip was planned early in the summer, as John Vanderpoel was taking a large group of Art Institute students to Tyrone, PA, in the Alleghany Mountains, for a four-week sketching tour, leaving July 2. It’s possible the two trips were in competition with each other, with the latter being considerably more expensive.
In April 1886, the BAC opened their fourth annual exhibition, moving the locale to the recently opened Stevens Art Building and galleries, where Alice would later have a studio. The opening was attended by more than one hundred people. A review in the Chicago Tribune, stated that the “display, as whole was a very credible one.” However, the Sunday Inter Ocean critic offered a harsh denunciation stating that the Western Art Association show, which preceded the women’s exhibit, “far surpassed” what was on offer by the BAC. Several of the of the BAC members exhibited with the Western Art Association, and it’s likely that there wasn’t much original material remaining for a second show in quick succession, as the critic said, “…the large majority of the pictures, so-called, are merely studies that appear to have taken up a few odd hours instead of a studied worthy effort.” Alice’s work was, to the contrary, termed “good.”
In July Alice again organized a sketch class of young ladies, this time Burlington, Wisconsin, where she accepted local students, as well as those who traveled with her from Chicago. In September the annual Inter-State Industrial Exposition opened on the lakefront, and within the exhibition of nationally recognized artists, was a contingent of local works, one by Alice. Her work was singled out by a critic who, while mentioning how the composition of artists had changed since the early days of the Crosby Opera House Galler7 , thought that only two of the new group noted special attention: “…Alice D. Kellogg and Mrs. M. K. Lusk, make the most credible displays among our local artists…” The exhibition catalog entry showed that Alice she had moved into the Weber Music Hall (later the Chickering Hall Building).
She resumed teaching at the Art Institute for the 1886-1887 school year, conducting morning classes in drawing from the antique. Yet the time was approaching when she would need to finish her formal education by studying in Europe, such an endeavor being advantageous to most artist’s careers at the time. The Tribune reported:
Miss Kellogg has not yet pursued any course of study outside of this city, and it may be a great gratification to the people of Chicago who encourage art to see how much this young girl has been able to do here…. The course of study which she intents pursuing in Europe in a short time will no doubt bring rich results, for the patience of the young lady, the assiduity of her study, and her active, vigorous personality need but the help of practice and broader instruction to make her something out of the usual.”
Readying herself for Europe, she had but one entry (a painting previously exhibited) in the BAC’s annual show, where one hundred seventy-five were on view at the Stevens Gallery. Alice’s technique was labeled a risky one, laying down paint in broad brushstrokes, and then “smoothing” it laboriously across the canvas. Concurrently she a painting of hers was shown at the Blocki Gallery in Chicago and it was noted that she “adopted a manner of painting which requires a good deal of courage… her work is good… and even better, her feeling is deep.” 
Before leaving for Europe, she took one last look at her beloved Wisconsin countryside in August 1887, at Port Washington and Racine. She then crossed the Atlantic in October along with her sister Gertrude, school chum Ida Haskell, and Ida’s mother, Mrs. Hanna Haskell, as chaperone, to study in Paris at the Académie Julian. At that time, Alice looked forward to spending two, possibly three, years in Europe. Today we are thankful for a window into her life though correspondence of a rather unsystematic, intimate, and conversational tone that went back and forth via steamer between Alice, friends, and family during her time abroad between 1887 and 1889.
Despite periods of homesickness, Alice remained steadfast in a commitment to gain as much as possible from this sojourn. Once settled into apartments, she immersed herself in art intending to “work, work, work.” At first, she studied at the Julian for half days from eight until twelve and then spent afternoons in galleries and studios. The first winter in Paris, she studied under Gustave Clarence Radolphe Boulanger (1824-188) and Jules-Joseph Lefèbvre (1836-1911), of whom she was a particular favorite. She immensely admired the work of instructor “Dagnan-Bouvret the Great,” who reminded her of artist Arthur Bowen Davies (1862-1928) for whom Alice had romantic feelings. Davies had been a student of Alice’s, and the two shared an interest in the metaphysical.
By December 1887, after only a short time in Europe, Alice was finding herself, writing home, “I am almost free of anybody in my work and it is a freedom to be prized.” She was much taken by Paris city life, writing, “The room was twilightly through our pretty curtains, I could see the picturesquely irregular contour of the roofs opposite jutting against the morning sky…From the street below came the sound of the labors of the never-resenting work-people. The calls of the men guiding, thereby their great draught horses; the swish of the brooms sweeping clean the streets—the call of some vendor of something…now a cab dashing by—then a dog’s bark all these drifted up to me…”
In February 1888, Alice wrote her sister Kate that marriage seemed out of her control. She could only put the matter into the hands of others. If she were to marry Arthur Davies, it would because it was the natural thing to do. Even though she and Arthur remained close, Alice had some trepidation. However, she received letters from him regularly. Her primary concern was a fear that marriage might hold her back in advancing a career. Probably as a diversion, she intensified interest on developing her art, not in marriage, and found herself “more thoroughly in” her work than she had ever been. Kate advised Alice “Carpe diem,” and with that Alice filled her day with painting, drawing, sketching, and working so that she would not be so homesick.
In April 1888, Alice’s work was accepted into the Salon (colloquially known as the “Paris Salon”), organized annually by the Société des Artistes Français. She was proud that her portrait of Gertrude was shown, even though she did not think it her best work, saying it was “not half what I ought to do.” The reason why she thought she could do better, despite the acceptance into the Salon, was that, in a sense, acceptance of Julian students was often guaranteed. Alice said of this situation, that just being a student at the Julian accounted for “more than half of our acceptance” and it was a fact that was “undeniable” and “hardly concealed.”
That month she had joined Art Institute President Charles L. Hutchinson and Director William M. R. French, and other faculty, to travel in Rome. At the end of the school year, fellow teachers at the School of the Art Institute gathered in the library to send her greetings as she looked forward to a summer visit in the Dutch countryside with sister Kate. She found Rijsoord delightful as a sketching place where days were “full of promise” and the windy nights so got into her blood that she gave way to the impulse of skipping. After vacation, Alice wanted to go home, but she intended to hold on until the following summer. The introspective Alice sensed something was lacking, but she did not know what it was. At that time, Alice claimed her year abroad was the hardest of her life.
In September1888, Alice was going to enroll in the Académie Julian, when she discovered that “dear M. Boulanger” suddenly died. She attended the funeral of the “best teacher” she ever had. Afterward, she felt a personal loss; Alice had found his instruction “the simplest--most broad--most rousing.” Alice wrote, “My dear M. Boulanger is gone and now I do not know just what to do, but I think Colarossi will probably put us on his list as he is near where we hope to be, cheaper in his terms, and has teachers equally as good as any at Julian’s.”
There was trepidation on her part, however, about studying with men. She visited the co-educational studio of the Académie Colarossi to get a feel for the activities there. She wondered about working side-by-side with men. Asking a male friend, who was at the Colarossi, about this circumstance, he stated: “I would not, nor could I advise any woman of good family, one of my sisters for example, to get there. If you didn't know a word of French it could perhaps be acceptable, but these French people are not decent,”
However, the Colarossi was “good, cheap and near” her apartment in the Latin Quarter at No. 16 rue le Verrier, where she settled by October 1888. She and her roommates paid 1,650 francs a year for the four-bedroom apartment, which Alice did not think very much. Once in the studio, she found her “own free space” and was far more content than during the previous winter. She felt free of the bondage she had earlier sensed in regard to her work. The change gave her a different feeling and she found “active pleasure” in her work.
Alice’s enthusiasm no doubt stemmed from the excitement of studying with Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois (1852-1923) and Jean-André Rixens (1846-1925). The Colarossi school was “in an artistic part of Paris” where artists congregated and was thus far less conventional than many other parts of the city. At the Colarossi, Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929) criticized her work on a single occasion. Concurrently, Alice also studied with the successful American teacher Charles Augustus (Shorty) Lasar (1856-1936), as was common for many American women. She felt her experiences with the masters and their schools was to be a “gradual digesting process,” expressing that the “weary weeks had their value.” In her last winter in Europe she wanted to advance as rapidly as possible, feeling that only “procrastination” could hold her back.
The Colarossi was less rigidly organized than the Julian, and Alice enjoyed the liberty to do as she pleased. Her classmates included French, American, English, and some Russian, Danish, and Swedish students. She found the models, sometimes dressed in Arab garb, or a pretty woman in plush satin, better than at the Julian, and the tuition was a bargain at only twenty francs per month. Her day passed with school from eight to twelve, then lunch, and later tours of the museums and galleries. At six p.m. she had dinner, then two hours of reading or writing, followed by evening classes. She found the hard work to be great fun, with a serious purpose. She liked her instructors, since they both taught “simply, broadly, and to the point.” Courtois was a florid young man who spoke in a low pleasant voice with great decision and had a sense of seriousness and power. He was one who blew through the Atelier “like a strong summer storm, clearing the atmosphere.” Courtois was “impartial” and “very just in his criticisms—very accurate.” She found him “somewhat like Boulanger in his direct attack and his lack of polite fibbing.” In his first criticism of Alice’s work, Courtois only spoke twenty minutes in the room and was very good to her. He was “electric” in the way he left her “with a brave determination to go on, to attack, to win!” A man not of an “ideal temperament,” Courtois was “honest” and “strong.” His frequent expression was “Frankly painted.” Alice admired her Master so much, that she journeyed to visit the Courtois studio far outside the old Paris fortifications in the direction of the Arc de Triumph.
Rixens also criticized Alice’s work. At one time, Rixens gave the men and women a remarkable theme—a mother nursing twins and three other children at play. Alice did it in color as an inside scene looking outside side a cottage window admitting, “I have rather a weakness for mothers and children,” but considered the task challenging. The mother and child theme would find its way into Alice’s work later in her career, garnering much acclaim. Rixen called the piece “human” and “composed well,” while Alice thought it “full of the faults of inexperience.” Yet the work was named “best” and was “to be stretched, hung upon the wall, and enter the concours.” Despite any positive comments, Alice felt class criticisms were an “agony to be endured.”
She did not feel easy with her circumstances, even though she demonstrated so much skill that other students thought she had previously studied in Paris or in New York. She found others’ complimentary talk upsetting because it made her “wild” that she could not do “the solidly good things” she wanted to do. Sometimes she had so much frustration that she became “ill” and gave up after various attempts when she did not get her sketches right. On occasions, she had to “treat away a sick headache.” There were instances, however, where she felt unusually well and viewed herself an improved individual because of her art; having changed considerably since being away from home for two years.
Alice had never been totally alone in France as there was a large contingent of American students and a continuous flock of friendly visitors she could commune with. She found moral support in “each others sympathy and encouragement” as they learned together. On Thanksgiving Day 1888, Alice shared dinner with a friendly face in Caroline Dupee Wade (1857-1947), an instructor from the Art Institute.
Back home, at the close of 1888, Alice particularly wondered whether anyone had heard from Orno Tyler, (a man ten years her senior, whom she eventually married) and if he was well. Alice was interested in Orno, and she wanted her family to ask him to Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas, and to ring in the new year, in her absence. She also recalled John Gage, who was then in college, whom she claimed she had once loved. Alice admitted she liked college boys and found them “breezy” or lighthearted. 
As it turned out, Alice spent her own Christmas and birthday in “Merrie England” with English friend Amy B. Atkinson (1859-1916) and others, at the home of clergyman, Reverend Atkinson. Ida Haskell had insisted that Alice not miss out on the trip to England. While there, Alice saw Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the National Gallery, and St. Paul’s Westminster Abbey. She found London had “cheap” shopping. There was also a party to be given on December 27, possibly in connection with Alice’s birthday. Davies remembered her birthday and sent not only a letter, but a birthday book, prettily bound in seal skin leather, of selections from George Eliot. The trip put Alice in a “peculiarly-magnetic sensitive mood” even though it was “not a restful time.” The hectic schedule certainly kept Alice trim, for while in England, she was weighed and measured at only five feet and a half inch tall and 115 pounds with her winter and outside wraps. She came to love England with its welcoming people and quaint Old York with its red tiled village roofs. Unfortunately, by January 1889, when she returned to Paris, she had a sense she was “all used up” and not entirely herself. She was in a state of mind where she felt low seeing herself as one who failed ten times a day, got sea-sick, had headaches, got angry and sad, and doubted herself. Despite all her friendships and associations in Europe, she still wished she “knew some wise, wise person” with whom she could talk.
Realizing that her “careless” and “happy-go-lucky” ways, especially during the tour of England, had greatly diminished her credit account, she began to make copies of paintings from the Louvre to sell. She had heard that such works could bring $100 dollars. Alice absolutely hated finances. Aware of her expenses for studio rent, fuel, and school tuition, she drew from her account at the rate of sixty-seven dollars a month. She begged Mr. Holt, who cared for her finances, to please tell her, in not too technical terms, how much money she had left. She also promised him that she would give him drawing lessons if he would teach her some business sense.
She continued with sketch classes and sought release from tension by attending a gymnasium class three times a week. She learned to swing off on the flying trapeze even though her arms and wrists were not too strong and did not have “one quiver of fear.” She preferred the comfortable clothes of a man, purchasing very full trousers and a belt, which she wore with her blue jersey and a red rolling collar. Others said she was still “perfectly modest and prettier than the rest.” Alice warned her sister Gertrude not to be surprised if she came home a liberated woman without corset and wearing very few underclothes. She had earlier kidded her sister that their parents would think she had grown “too Bohemian.”
Around this time, she concentrated on a portrait of her sister Gertrude [collection of the Bowie Family, entitled Miss G.E.K.]. Perhaps in part because she did not work steadily on the picture, she found it difficult to settle upon whether it was finished. By February, however, Alice said it was “nearly a la finis,” having worked on it “in spots and whenever possible.” She wrote, “Everyone likes my portrait of G. and thinks its [sic] sure to go into the Salon.” Alice ordered a lovely frame fitting for its hopeful entry into the important annual exhibition. The highly self-critical Alice saw all its faults even though she recognized improvement in her work. By adding a chair, a table with some soft creamy drapery, a book, and some gloves, she felt it looked much better, and felt that in many ways, the portrait was the best work she ever did, yet still added “I could do better I believe now.”
While she wrote that she could be a “successful economist” and still be happy, she was lured by travel and began planning an Italian trip to Rome, Pompeii, Naples, and Venice, also trying to squeeze in Switzerland. She loved to get away to the countryside and intended to stay in cheap hotels and take her old plush jacket. In preparation, she recovered an old umbrella in half silk, bought a hat for less than fifty cents, and re-heeled old shoes. Alice felt “a perfect [extravagant] pig” but thought these purchases and travel were justified. She thought other family members would have a chance later and she would then help them along. Perhaps this extravagance was in anticipation of the acceptance in May of both her portrait of Gertrude, and a small pastel, at the Paris Universal Exposition. After spending five weeks in sunny Italy and “invigorating Switzerland,” they returned in time for visits to the Exposition, “two brown, happy and tired maidens”
Alice’s little pastel was hung “on the line,” that is, at eye level. And even though her life-size oil portrait of Gertrude was hung rather high, she was thrilled that the jury had accepted it nonetheless. The painting was an admirable color study with soft gradations of light. What made the painting so outstanding was Alice’s power to express the unity between the Gertrude and the flowers. Alice was thrilled upon viewing the exhibition to see so many great works of art together in one place. She was in a state of joy and disbelief that her work hung in the same halls as the greatest French artists of the day. She wrote that viewing these masterworks in one location was more important to her education than all her combined studio work. A very humbled Alice questioned what she had done to deserve all she had encountered in Paris. She immersed herself in the excitement of the fair, walking up the Rue Bonaparte to the river, through the Tuilleries, along the Rue de Rivoli, and through the Place de la Conards, among the thousands of people and under flaming lights of gas-jets. She watched a Venetian fete on the river with the Eiffel Tower in the background and saw colored lights, like tiaras, gleaming against the darkened sky and shouted ‘brava’ when boats floated by with music. She felt awed when the Eiffel Tower suddenly became lit with a dull explosive sound, a beautiful “pillar of fire.” As she marched with the happy mob, led by two cornets, through the streets singing “Marseille,” she knew her time in Paris was finally complete.
“Art And Artists,” Chicago Tribune, 1/25/1885, p.12. Also, “General: The Western Art Association,” Daily Inter Ocean, 1/23/1885, p.5, and “Western Art Association,” Daily Inter Ocean, 1/24/1885, p.5.
Catalogue of the Second Annual Exhibition of the Western Artists' Association, (Chicago: Western Artists' Association, 3/3/1886). “Their First Reception,” Chicago Tribune, 1/18/1885. An invitation to the opening appears chronologically in the AIC Scrapbooks, Vol. 3, p.157. Extensive information on the Chicago Society of Artists may be found through www.illinoisart.org.
“For Art Lovers: The Bohemian-Club Exhibition,” Chicago Tribune, 5/3/1885, p.28.
“Art and Artists,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 5/3/1885, p.20.
Confirmed by school circulars.
“Art Institute,” Daily Inter Ocean, 6/27/1885, p.4.
In the introduction to the school catalog, it was announced “We regret to announce that Miss Kellogg has resigned her position and will no longer teach.” 9/1/1894. A copy of this page is also found in the AIC Scrapbooks, Vol. 6, preface [prior to p.1]. As regards opening her own school: Harriet Hayden Hayes, “Some Chicago Studios,” The National Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 1897, p.57.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 7/4/1886, p.9.
“Local Art Notes,” Chicago Tribune, 6/23/1885, p.5.
“Pictures and Painters,” Chicago Tribune, 6/14/1885, p.11.
No exhibition catalog for this event has been located. “The Bohemian Art Club,” Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1886, p.3.
“Art And Artists,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 4/18/1886, p.13.
“Art,” Chicago Tribune, 6/5/1886, p.13. “Chicago Lady Artists: Some of the More Prominent Wielders of the Brush,” Chicago Tribune, 7/4/1886, p.9. “Art At The Exposition,” Chicago Tribune, 7/30/1886, p.8. “Personals,” Daily Inter Ocean, 8/22/1886, p.16. “Sketching Class,” Burlington Free Press, 5/11/1886, p.4.
“Art At The Exposition,” Chicago Tribune, 9/4/1886, p.4
Art Catalogue of the Inter-State Industrial Exposition. Chicago. Fourteenth Annual Exhibition, (Chicago: Inter-State Industrial Exposition Board, 9/2/1886), entry #85, p.58.
“The Domain of Art,” Art Institute of Chicago Scrapbooks, Vol. 4, 1886. “Chicago Art Institute,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 10/3/1886, p.8 mentioned Alice: “Among the changes in the corps of teachers…” “The Domain of Art,” Daily Inter Ocean, 1/3/1887, p.7. In file 1886-87, Box 20, Director W.M.R. French, School Records, 1879/80-1906/07, Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago, there is handwritten information that states Alice Kellogg’s monthly salary was $50.00 for a total of $450 per annum. She is cited as Instructor of Morning Antique Classes in School Circular for the Season 1886-7, AIC Scrapbook Vol. 3, approx. p.172. She is also mentioned as teaching “Antique” in the “Report of W. M. R. French, Director for the annual Trustee Meeting of June 7, 1887.” https://www.artic.edu/about-us/financial-reporting/archive-of-financial-reports accessed 1/3/2021.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 7/4/1886, p.9.
“The Bohemian Art Club,” Chicago Tribune, 4/27/1887, p.9.
“Chicago Art Notes,” Chicago Tribune, 3/20/1887, p.3.
Op. cit., Bowie, Women Building Chicago 1790-1900, 2001, p.468. Op. cit letter #50, winter 1887-1888. Op. cit., Howard, Arts For America, March 1898, p.404.
Letter #10, 11/5 1887, frame 866.
A review of this time in her life may be found in Annette Blaugrund, “Alice D. Kellogg: Letters From Paris, 1887-1889,” Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1988, pp.11-19.
Op. cit., letter #10, 11/5/1887.
Op. cit., letter #10, 11/5/1887. Catherine Fehrer, “List of Students and Professors,” The Julian Academy Paris 1868-1939, (New York: Shepherd Gallery, Spring 1989), np.
Op. cit., Howard, Arts For America, March 1898, p.404. “Many Mourn Noted Artist: Funeral of Alice Kellogg Tyler to Be Held This Afternoon,” Chicago Chronicle, Vol., 5, No. 265, 2/16/1900, p.12.
Letter #460 from Peggy Kellogg to Alice Kellogg, 2/28/1889, frame 269 and letter #470, 5/4/1889, frame 280. Note: Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929) was the champion of the new salon and was brother-in-law to Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois (1852-1923) who lived in the same house. “Two Paris Salons,” Sunday Inter Ocean,” 4/26/1891, p.31.
Op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889. Bernard B. Perlman, “Chapter 3: First Love (1886-1889,” The Lives, Loves and Art of Arthur B. Davies, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998), pp.21-32, and “Chronology,” p.395. Alice’s photographic portrait is illustrated on p.22. “Local Tone,” Arts for America, Vol. 5, No. 4, May 1896, p.160. For more on Davies’s interest in the metaphysical, an interest he shared with Alice, see Christine I. Oaklander, “Arthur B. Davies, William Fraetas, and ‘Color Law,’” American Art, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2004, pp. 10-31.
Letter #40, 12/8/1887, frame 895. On some letters she painted images with her words.
Op. cit., letter #50, winter 1887-1888.
Letter #70 to Kate Kellogg, 2/19/1888, frame 928.
Op. cit., letter #70, 2/19/1888.
Op. cit., letter #50, winter 1887-1888. Op. cit., letter #70, 2/19/1888.
Op. cit., letter #70, 2/19/1888.
Undated letter #360 to Kate Kellogg, c. summer 1888, frame 114.
Letter #115 from Kate Kellogg to Alice Kellogg, 4/10/1888.
Her work was accepted again the following year. Lois Marie Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p.363. See also Letters #80 4/3/1888, frame 939 and op. cit., letter #470 5/4/1889, and William French, “High Art Over the Sea,” Chicago Tribune, 6/2/1889, p.25. Her work was again accepted the following year, a pastel, #3392, p.258 of the catalog. She wrote of it in letter #500, to Gertrude, roll 25, no. 4183, frame 302,
Op. cit., letter #80, 4/3/1888, frame 939.
Annette Blaugrund et al., Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition, (NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1989), p. 12. For further discussion see Catherine Fehrer, “Women at the Académie Julian in Paris,” The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 136, No. 1100, Nov 1994, pp. 752-757. For example: “The professors were chosen not only for their ability to teach, but also for the influence they might be able to exert on their students’ behalf. Julian himself was notorious for his efforts to assure that his students’ work would be shown in the Salon.”
William M. R. French, “Art Students Abroad: Chicago’s Coming Painters Doing Themselves Proud,” Chicago Tribune, 4/21/1889, p.33.
Letter to Alice Kellogg on Art Institute of Chicago letter head, signed by among others: Caroline D. Wade; Oliver Dennett Grover; W. M. R. French; John H. Vanderpoel, and Newton H. Carpenter, 6/21/1888. Alice Kellogg Tyler Memorabilia, Personal Papers Collection, Ryerson Library, Institutional Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago. Op. cit., letter #80, 4/3/1888.
Letter #120 to Dear Girls, 6/5/1888, frame 976. Letter #140 to Peggy Kellogg, 6/16/1888, frame 986.
Letter #160 to Kate Kellogg, 8/12/1888, frame 1021.
Letter #210 to Mary Kellogg, 9/24/1888, frame 1125.
Op. cit., letter #210, 9/24/1888.
Letter #220 to Gertrude, 9/24/1888, frame 1140.
Op. cit., letter #210, 9/24/1888.
Letter #280 to My darling Mother, 10/25/1888, frame 1207. Letter #220 to Gertrude, 9/24/1888, frame 1140.
Quotation from excerpted by Samuel Montiège, The Académie Julian and its Canadian students Paris, 1880-1900, with a view to obtaining the degree of [Ph. D.] in art history, University of Montreal, May 2011, his footnote 505, extracted from op. cit., letter #280, 10/25/1888.
Op. cit., The Graphic, 2/27/1892, p.155. Op. cit., Alice Kellogg, letter #240, 10/1/1888.
Op. cit., Alice Kellogg, letter #240, 10/1/1888. For details on the cost of living near the Colarossi, and some accounts of daily activities in the atelier see Emma Bullet, “Colarossi’s Art School,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 4/21/1889, p.8.
Letter #310, 11/30/1888, frame 36.
Letter #300 to Mabbie, 11/21/1888.
Letter #290, 11/9/1888, frame 11. Letters dated 11/2/1888 through 11/11/1888 were numbered 290 by Joanne Bowie.
Op. cit., Arts for America, March 1898, p.404.
Letter #380 to My dear, 1/24/1889, frame 186.
Alice mentions that Dagnan-Bouveret corrected her in op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889. Author Gabriel P. Weisberg in Against the Modern: Dagnan-Bouveret and the Transformation of the Academic Tradition, (New York: Dahesh Museum of Art, 2002), pp. 58, 95. stated Dannan-Bouveret “became a teacher at the Colarossi Academy in the mid-1880s” and “where he taught two or three nights a week. In op. cit., Arts for America, March 1898, p.404, Alice stated: “’His coming was like an angel’s visit. I had just one criticism from him, and I still treasure it.’”
Op. cit, Chicago Times-Herald, 2/12/1899, p.21. Op. cit., The Graphic, 2/27/1892, p.155. Johnstown, PA born Lasar, studied in Paris under Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Well known for his technical abilities and drawing, he opened his own Paris atelier, catering to English-speaking female artists
Op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #280, 10/25/1888. Op. cit., letter #330, 12/15/1888.
Op. cit., letter #280, 10/25/1888.
Letter #330, 12/15/1888, frame 55.
References to Colarossi are varied and many and are taken from op. cit., letter #290, 11/2/1888 and op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Letter #390 to Mr. Holt, 1/24/1889, 16 rue le Verrier.
Op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889.
Op. cit., letter #330, 12/15/1888.
Op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889.
Op. cit., letter #330, 12/15/1888.
Letter #320, 12/5/1888, frame 45.
Op. cit., letter #330, 12/15/1888.
Op. cit., letter #310, 11/30/1888. Art Institute Director William M. R. French noted that Wade was in a group of other Art Institute Faculty who had joined French in Europe. Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/21/1889, p.33. “It is our policy to keep one or more of the staff of teachers always there to study…”
Letter #370 to Gertrude, 1/31/1889, frame 208.
Op. cit., letter #290, 11/2/1888.
Op. cit., letter #310, 11/30/1888.
Op. cit., letter #330, 12/15/1888.
Accounts of this trip to England are taken from op. cit., letter #320, 12/6/1888, Letter #350, 1/8/1889, and op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #240, 10/1/1888.
Discussion of her finances are found in op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #370, 1/31/1889.
Op. cit., letter #380, 1/24/1889.
Op. cit., letter #370, 1/31/1889.
Op. cit., letter #280, 10/25/1888.
Op. cit., letter #360, undated. (Alice mentions the trip to York so it must be after December 1888).
Op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889.
Letter #450 to “Katchen” (Kate Kellogg), 2/26/1889, frame 261.
Op. cit., letter #450, 2/26/1889.
Op. cit., letter #450, 2/17/1889.
Events surrounding this trip are found in op. cit., letter #460, 2/28/1889. “Carrie” was fellow Art Institute instructor Caroline D. Wade. In the article “Our Girls Can Paint,” Chicago Evening Journal, 4/23/1892, p.1. “Page” was possibly Anna Page Scott, Alice’s cousin. In April 1889, William M. R. French wrote that Alice was a former teacher at the Art Institute and at that time was in Rome with him, Caroline Wade, and others. W.M.R. French, “Art Students Abroad,” Chicago Tribune, 4/21/1889, p.33.
Op. cit., letter #470, 5/4/1889. Op. cit., Arts for America, March 1898, p.404. Annette Blaugrund, Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition, (NY: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 1989), pp.177-179. Her portrait is illustrated on p.177.
Op. cit., letter #470, 5/4/1889.
Op. cit., letter #500, 5/20/1889.
Op. cit., letter #500, 5/20/1889. Alice was thankful for Gertrude’s painting as she viewed its acceptance a “ticket,” which allowed her to go into the Exposition and “feast her eyes” on the best paintings. Letter #510 to her mother, 5/23/1889 and op. cit., Chicago Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12. For contemporary commentary on the exhibit see op. cit., Blaugrund, Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition. In op. cit., Bowie in Women Building Chicago 1790-1900, 2001, pp.468-470, Bowie discusses Alice’s acceptance into the Salon and Universal Exposition.
“Showing the Pictures,” Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1890, p.3.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1890, p.3.
Op. cit., letter #510, 5/23/1889.
Letter #480 to Mary Kellogg, 5/16/1889, frame 294.
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Having arrived at such a culmination, Alice sensed a letdown after the frenzy of the fair, and by June she was tired of the great city and longed for home, where her “unfortunately and abnormally active brain” could rest, and “be led like a child for a time” until she regained some mental stamina. Yet she also said, “I want to work, and will work all the rest of my life, and enjoy it.”
She anticipated a workplace in downtown Chicago, knowing that she could accomplish little working from home. She tossed about the notion of continuing the private classes she gave prior to her departure, to repay her family for the expensive European study. When Director Mr. French of the Art Institute met with her in Paris, she could not tell whether he wanted her back, even though he conveyed a hope that she would commit herself to the Institute. This lack of commitment by Mr. French bothered her as she preferred “brutal honesty.” Sardonically, she believed that whether Mr. French wanted her back at the Institute depended upon the perception of how her paintings had been hung while in Paris—whether her work caused sufficient attention. Alice hated policy and the Institute authorities irritated her to the point that she was no longer “sweetly inclined toward them.” She despised their “Patriarchal interest” in her and did not know the purpose of Mr. French’s concerns over her financial state; he expressed he should have done more for her, as they had done for Caroline Wade, who not only received a stipend from the Art Institute for study abroad, but was supported financially by wealthy donors to the museum. While fond of the students, Alice was not in much “sympathy with the spirit of the school” as it was then conducted. She found it too pharisaical. She therefore did not want to go back unless she could teach in her own way. Alice preferred “not to teach at all,” strictly speaking, but live what she felt and show others how to be an artist. In June, she wrote that John Vanderpoel, who had become head of the life class, relayed surprise that she had heard nothing from the Institute, especially since a discussion at a teacher’s meeting had included matters of Alice.
Despite her successes, she still harbored self-doubts, and compared herself by the standards she imagined of her friends, who seemed imminently busier than she. Alice was relieved when in June she had nearly finished an oil study of a mother and child. The idea of this particular painting, entitled The Mother (also known as Mother and Child) (Hull-House, Chicago), one that would define her work to this very day, originated sometime around December 1887, when Alice made a sketch of a mother feeding her baby. While Alice had not thought the effort very good, she felt it was one of her best works, noting she completed it quietly, feeling deep inside it was an “honest effort.” No doubt, one of her strengths was the ability to take time with a work, “to keep a thing about to look at—and work on it until it grew complete and to a more full realization of what one imagined in a subject.” Little did Alice know at the time how much recognition this painting would bring to her and the impact it would have on her career.
Afraid of how she would find her place back home, after having been away for so long, Alice began to mentally prepare for the return to Chicago. How better to celebrate this homecoming than to complete some last-minute travel? She made ready for a mid-July jaunt to Scotland and York to meet her friend Amy and remain there up until the moment she debarked for Chicago. Her intent was to leave for New York in early August, where she wanted to stay two or three days to see Davies. She had earlier written, “If Arthur and I find that we two, all lacking as we are, are necessary to each other, then I hope I may marry. And if we are not, pray heaven that I may be brave.”
Alice returned to Chicago in the fall of 1889 she and resumed teaching privately and at the School of the Art Institute. At the close of the school year in June 1890, she was named to the school prize jury committee, along with Walter McEwen (1860-1943) and Frederic Arthur Bridgman (1847-1928). At that time, McEwen and Bridgman were two of the most esteemed artists in America, and for Alice to be chosen by the school to join them in awarding prizes was an honor.
In July, The Graphic reported she was, oddly, going to “leave and make her home in New York City.” Perhaps she viewed the eastern metropolis as a more advantageous place to pursue her career, or she went to attempt to solidify her relationship with Arthur Davies. He had met his future wife, Virginia Meriwether, that same summer in New York. Virginia was an accomplished physician from a wealthy family, and they married two years later.
Now permanently installed in Chicago, she took studio space at the Stevens Gallery Building, 24 Adams Street, where William C. Stevens had an art gallery where the BAC had previously held a series of annual exhibitions. She also reunited with friends at the BAC, which had been renamed in 1888, as the Palette Club. The club had “become famous throughout the country owing part to its having been the first organization of women painters and secondly for the strength of its work.” “A great number of the Palette Club members were first-prize pupils” of the Art Institute and many had studied abroad, which critics thought accounted for the “general excellence in the works displayed.” Critics applauded the “breezy, Western independence” about the club, that “didn’t hang on to men’s coat tails in order to be pulled before the public.”
Returning once again to the Art Institute, where the Palette Club now kept its headquarters, the women held their seventh annual exhibit in April 1890. Reviews of the show were somewhat mixed, but it was adjudged by one critic that they had outdone the all-male Chicago Society of Artists, whose exhibit opened in a separate gallery at the Art Institute on the same evening. Alice showed a great many works, including her sympathetically rendered Salon portrait of Gertrude, Miss G. E. K.. Alice had no intention of selling the painting, and thus did not give it a price, while all the other works by her and member artists were for sale. She also showed The Mother priced at $500, a considerable sum. Interestingly, the press said that it lacked the same concentration as the painting of Gertrude and was not as good as the drawing of the same subject. The press considered Alice’s best piece a little pastel called Revery, which she had previously shown at the 1888 Salon. Of her work in general, one critic commented, “Miss Kellogg’s exhibit is large and the excellence of her work leads one to high anticipations of her future. Two years of well-directed study in Paris have given her a facile command of brush and crayon, and she is gifted with a delicate sense of color and of pictorial fitness. Her future progress will be watched with eager solicitude.”
That Fall, the Inter-State Industrial Exposition held its fourteenth and final exhibition. The art exhibit included most of the country’s greatest artists resident both in the U.S. and abroad. Two of Alice’s pastels passed the jury. A critic mentioned, “Miss Alice D. Kellogg also shows two pastel portraits spirited in pose and pleasing in color.” One of these was a portrait of “Miss I. W.” The sitter was undoubtedly civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, who Alice came to know through their Hull-House connections.
Alice’s association with Jane Addams and Hull-House went back several years. In fact, Addams’ correspondence from Munich, in January 1888, mentioned that she had a house with her and that they visited sites together. An enduring relationship developed that supported both their causes. On the one hand, Addams helped Alice’s career through personal commissions and public exhibitions at the Hull House, and on the other hand, Alice brought exposure of fine art to neighborhood people through her contributions at Hull-House.” She was the original instructor in art: “Alice Kellogg Tyler was the first of the Chicago artists who so lavishly [gave] their services to Hull-House.” When Hull-House opened its Butler Gallery in 1891 (named for benefactor Edward Burgess Butler (1853-1928) a retired businessman and artist), Alice was a key component of the celebrated event. She, along with Art Institute president Charles L. Hutchinson, and millionaire businessman Albert Arnold Sprague, “contributed a good part of the collection
Alice’s painting The Mother, “…a tender and sympathetic painting,” gained national attention when it was accepted for exhibition by the Society of American Artists in April 1891. One newspaper said that “The hanging committee gave the place of honor to [it].” Some years later it was reported that she hesitated to send a picture at all “…because the general average excellence of this American society is higher than the general average excellence of all European exhibitions. The Jury are so strict that they often see their own pictures rejected right before their eyes. Under no sort of pull does a work go in, only on its merit.” A critic noted the work was “…sturdy of type, with a swathed infant asleep in her lap. Executed with discretion and handled with vigor.” Among Society members were the country’s leading artists including John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and Childe Hassam (1859-1935). The painting “appealed to the members…so forcefully that the artist was elected to membership, an honor not frequently accorded to exhibitors…” For an artist to be elected as a member of the Society upon the merit of a single work was an extraordinary tribute, with no other Chicagoan ever winning such distinction.
That same month, the Palette Club held their eighth annual reception and exhibition at the Art Institute. As a founding member Alice was part of the jury of selection along with fellow artists Ida J. Burgess (1858-1934), Annie Weaver Jones (c.1862-after 1911), Mrs. Margaret J. MacDonald Pullman (1847-1892), and Pauline A. Dohn [later Rudolph] (1865-1934). Over two thousand invitations were mailed for a display of some two hundred works. One critic felt that two of the best canvases were Alice’s The Salute (at one time owned by Jane Addams Hull House) and Ida Haskell’s Flax-Workers at Rest, both Holland scenes. One portrait of a young woman, with a pink and yellow rose corsage, dressed in white and set against a white background, an extremely difficult arrangement to paint, was called “among the best shown.” In the landscape painting entitled The Call, she placed the figure of a woman costumed in typical Dutch attire in the foreground of the composition. With its setting sun of warm tints Alice showed off her gift to create lighting effects that were simultaneously brilliant yet soft. She apparently chose her subject matter wisely for the field of long grass and scraggly primroses juxtaposed against a vista of distant hills appealed to F. F. Ballard of Oak Park who purchased the painting. Her pastel study of a young lady in gray, which she previously showed at the Paris Exposition, was described as “more sympathetic than either of her oils.”
She resumed sketching trips that summer by visiting Mackinac Island, MI. Apparently it was a very productive trip as one critic noted she brought back “a series of studies… which are especially interesting… search[ing] for some particular phase of nature… a series of twenty or more.”
Later in the year, the Alice was elected to a one-year term as President of the Palette Club. Palette Club exhibitions remained her primary outlet for public exposure. Commenting on their ninth annual exhibition in April 1892, one critic remarked on her work, “To say it is on view is to say it is worth looking at.” Another critic described her nature study in oil of a “little country church yard…full of sentiment and poetry” and noted how Alice’s “graphic ability” captured the atmosphere of Lake Huron 
For a steady source of income outside of painting sales, or art related employment such as illustration, Alice rejoined the School of the Art Institute staff in 1892, teaching a variety of more advanced daily classes in painting. That summer, she visited art patroness Lydia Avery Coonley (later Ward) at her Hillside summer estate in Wyoming, NY. The two surely formed a closer bond that summer, as Alice would do illustration work for her, and was commissioned for portrait paintings.
The recently organized Art Students’ League, comprised of graduates of the School of the Art Institute and some senior current students, opened their fourth annual exhibition in November, where Alice showed three newer works.
That month, the Palette Club incorporated and moved into its own quarters at the Chickering Hall Building, where Alice had previously had her studio. The club held its meetings there and opened a sales gallery. When they inaugurated their tenth annual exhibition at the Art Institute in December 1892, there was a swarm of visitors and the critics again applauded Alice’s work. “More guests of the club than could walk through the rooms without an epidemic of ‘pardon me’ attended the reception, and in the throng were many of the men and women whose taste and liberality in the purchase of paintings have made this city one of the principal art centers of America.” One critic called her study of a young woman in black “charming.” With Cloud Study, subject matter often seen by other artists, yet Alice’s handling on canvas was not typical and drew the favorable commentary. With a price of $200 for Intermezzo, Alice apparently considered that piece of some quality, as it had been exhibited earlier that year at the annual show of the Society of American Artists.
As the new year 1893 opened, an important collection of the works of American watercolor painters was exhibited at one of the country’s most important dealers, Frederick Keppel & Company, who had opened a branch in Chicago managed by Albert Roullier, who later opened his own successful gallery specializing in works on paper. Alice was one of only Chicago artists represented, exhibiting a figure of an Italian girl.
As Chicago was preparing for the World’s Columbian Exposition that year, several regional juries met to decide which works would be shown in the Fine Arts Palace. Alice was one of fifteen western women, eight of whom were from Chicago, to have their works accepted by the jury for hanging in the main exhibition gallery. One sub-headline exclaimed how rigorous was the jury by stating in all capital letters: “MANY CANVASES REFUSED.” Her now well-known painting, Mother and Child, was requested for reproduction by the The Century magazine to be featured in the January 1893 issue. The same work would be illustrated again by The Century for their World’s Fair Book For Boys and Girls. Her salon painting Portrait of G. E. K, was hung in the board room of the Woman’s Building.
Alice also had the honor to execute a mural entitled Teaching, for the Illinois Building, Women’s Reception Room, one of several done by Palette Club members, commissioned by the Woman’s Exposition Board. However, the Tribune critic found considerable fault with the color scheme, as he thought it was not “harmonious” with the room. In the official catalog for the building it said:
Competitive designs for the decoration of this room were submitted to the board and the design of Miss Ida J. Burgess was chosen. Wishing this work to represent the artists of the State as far as possible, she invited the assistance of the women whose names appear upon the various panels of the frieze and ceiling.
The color scheme in the reception room is of warm ivory tints relieved in the ceiling with gold, and on the walls with cool green tones. The emblems of music, painting, the drama and literature appear in the cove which, with the panels in the ceiling, modeled by Miss Gwynn Price, Miss S. S. Hayden, Miss Jeanette Buckley and Miss May Elwell, after designs by Miss Burgess. The frieze is intended to illustrate the relation of women to the arts and is the chief decorative feature of the room. It is divided into panels by pilasters and was painted by the following artists:
Miss Ida J. Burgess, ‘Learning,’ ‘Youth.’
Miss Pauline A. Dohn, ‘Industrial Arts.’
Miss Alice D. Kellogg, ‘Instruction.’
Mrs. Marie Koupal Lusk, ‘Music.’
Miss Adele Fay, ‘The Drama.’
Mrs. Mary W. Means, ‘Poetry,’ ‘Dancers.’
Miss Helen B. Gregory
Miss Caroline D. Wade, ‘Landscape.’
Miss Anna W. Jones, ‘Landscape.’
Miss D. Gerow, ‘Oleanders.’
One critic said the room was among the most restful at the entire World’s Fair. Alice’s work included a woman in white and purple classic robes, teaching a girl, a boy and two younger children. “In the reception room of the Illinois Building is a frieze eleven feet long and four feet wide...by Miss Pauline Dohn …. Adjoining Miss Dohn’s work is Miss Alice Kellogg’s painting ‘Teaching’ which is a group.” For the Palette Club’s exhibit in the same building, four paintings by Alice were lent by their owners including: A Procrastinator; A Sister of Charity; Head of an Old Woman, and Cornelia (undoubtedly Dr. Cornelia de Bey, possibly the same work that hangs at Hull-House today).
Letter #520, 6/14/1889, frame 349.
“Annual Report of the Director” [W. M. R. French] [to the Trustees of the Art Institute], 6/5/1888, pp.8-9.
Her discourse on returning to the Art Institute is found in op. cit., letter #470, 5/4/1889 and op. cit., letter #530, 6/28/1889.
Op. cit., letter #520, 6/14/1889.
Op. cit., letter #530, 6/28/1889.
Letter #30 to her sister [Peggy], c.12/1887, frame 887.
Op. cit., letter #530, 6/28/1889.
Op. cit., letter #530, 6/28/1889.
For reference on later notoriety see W. Lewis Fraser, “Open Letters: American Artists Series: Alice D. Kellogg,” Century Magazine, Vol. XLV, No. 3, January 1893, p.478, with illustration of The Mother, on p.467.
Letter #140 to Peggy, 6/16/1888, from Rijsoord, Holland, frame 987.
Op. cit., letter #470, 5/4/1889.
Op. cit., letter #480, 5/16/1889.
Op. cit., letter #420, 2/11/1889.
She issued an announcement that “she will receive students in Drawing and Painting.” Announcement card, Joanne Bowie papers. She had some trepidation about a return to Chicago, but held some optimism that in time, she would make some money and be of financial support to her family. Letter #420 to Kate Kellogg, 2/11/1889, frame 234.
“Notes on Current Art,” Chicago Tribune, 6/1/1890, p.26. “Prizes at the Art Institute,” Chicago Tribune, 6/7/1890, p.7. “In Chicago Studios,” Chicago Evening Post, 6/4/1890, p.5. “Their Mission Is Art: Graduating Exercises of the Pupils Connected with the Art Institute,” Daily Inter Ocean, 6/7/1890, p.7. Unpublished notes for prizes awarded at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, June 6, 1890, Ryerson Library Archives.
Op. cit., The Graphic, 7/12/1890, p.490.
“Biography of Virginia Meriwether Davies,” Virginia M. Davies Correspondence, 1891-1935, Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, Delaware Art Museum. Within Alice’s papers is a diary entry dated 10/6/1892, stating, “Arthur Davies is married to a… nurse in a N.Y. hospital. They are living on a farm on the Hudson near New York—Que la vie est… And here am I!... Every place is full of ghosts. I wish I did not remember.”
Palette Club Seventh Annual Exhibition, (Chicago: Palette Club, 4/2/1890). Reference to William Stevens and his gallery is found in “The Haseltine Collection,” Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 5/17/1885, p.13, among other newspaper mentions.
Op. cit., Art and Handicraft in the Woman’s Building…, 1894, p.46. “The Palette Club: Old Friends Under a New Name Give a pleasing Art Reception,” Daily Inter Ocean, 4/3/1889, p.6.
“Exhibitions at the Art Institute,” The Arts, Vol. IV, No. 6, December 1895, p.181.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Times, 5/3/1891, p.14.
Op. cit., Chicago Evening Journal, 4/23/1892, p.1.
“Palette,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 3/9/1890, p.20.
“Chicago’s Art Clubs,” Daily Inter Ocean, 4/3/1890, p.3.
“Showing the Pictures,” Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1890, p.3.
Op. cit., Palette Club Seventh Annual Exhibition, 4/2/1890.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1890, p.3.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/3/1890, p.3.
In op. cit., letter #80 Alice stated “I did Gertrude—very badly…hence I was agreeably surprised to know I got in…” While the catalogue does not title the entry #3198, it is undoubtedly the same Revery that was entry #112 (noted “Salon 1888”) loaned by Mrs. Geo. A. Lord, in the Palette Club Exhibition of 1890.
“Notes on Current Art,” Chicago Tribune, 4/6/1890, p.36.
Catalogue of the Paintings Exhibited by the Inter-State Industrial Exposition of Chicago: Eighteenth Annual Exhibition, (Chicago: Inter-State Industrial Exposition of Chicago, 4/3/1890), entries #413, 414.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 9/28/1890, p.37.
Letter to Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman from Jane Addams, Munich, 1/7/1888, Reel 2, frame #635. All microfilm related to Jane Addams is at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Catalogue of the First Loan Collection of Paintings in the Butler Gallery Hull House, exhibition catalogue, (Chicago: Hull House, 6/20/1891). “Chicago’s Toynbee Hall,” Chicago Tribune, 6/21/1891, p.6, discusses the opening and dedication of the Butler Gallery at Hull House and lists the works Alice exhibited.
Jane Addams, The Excellent Becomes the Permanent, (NY: The Macmillan Company, 1932), p.11. She taught an evening class: “Hull House Weekly Program,” March 1892, “Wednesday: Drawing, Studio, Butler Gallery, 7:30 to 9 (College Extension) Miss Alice D. Kellogg.” http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~ppennock/doc-HullHouseProgram.htm, accessed 1/9/2021.
“Woman’s Kingdom: The Thirteenth Annual Exhibition,” Daily Inter Ocean, 6/13/1891, 11.
Op. cit., The Graphic, 2/27/1892, p.154. For a review of the exhibition see: “Society of American Artists,” New York Times, 4/26/1891, p.5. “Among the Artists,” Chicago Times, 6/21/1891, p.31, states “The Century Company has asked permission to reproduce Miss Kellogg’s picture of ‘The Mother and Child,’ which was shown at the exposition of the Society of American Artists and is now being shown at the museum in Boston. This picture has elicited much praise and favorable comment from all the eastern papers.”
“Women Artists,” Champaign County News, 9/26/1891, p.3.
Op. cit., Hayes, The National Magazine, April 1897, p.55 [and illustration].
“Gotham Gossip,” The Times-Picayune, 5/11/1891, p.6
Op. cit., The Graphic, 2/20/1892, p.154. See also, “Artists Of Talent,” Chicago Evening Post, 5/8/1891, p.5.
Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4.
Op. cit., Chicago Times, 4/26/1891, p.30.
Op. cit., Chicago Times, 4/26/1891, p.30. Palette Club Eighth Annual Exhibition, (Chicago: Palette Club, 4/24/1891).
Pictures on Exhibition at the Butler Gallery, Hull-House. Exhibition catalogue, (Chicago: Hull House, 3/28/1894).
Op. cit., Chicago Record, The Morning News, 4/25/1891, p 4. A sketch of the Salute appears in “Work Of The Women: Chicago Palette Club’s Display,” Sunday Chicago Herald, 4/26/1891, p.33. The article stated of the work “Miss Kellogg never worked to better purpose than here.”
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/25/1891, p.1.
Op. cit., The Chicago Times, 4/26/1891, p.30.
Op. cit., Chicago Tribune, 4/25/1891, p.1.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 10/4/1891, p.32.
Op. cit., Chicago Evening Journal, 4/23/1892, p.1. Ninth Annual Exhibition of the Palette Club at the Art Institute, (Chicago: The Craig Press, 1892).
“The Palette Club Exhibit,” The Graphic, 4/30/1892, p.324. A sketch of her Have a Boat, Sir! appears with the article.
Op. cit, Chicago Evening Journal, 4/23/1892, p.1. Other favorable comment appeared in “In the Artists’ Atelier,” Chicago Times, 12/4/1892, p.5, and “Fine Work By French,” Chicago Evening Post, 4/29/1892, p.5.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Catalogues 1879-1900, Box Bar Code 3501300819 1688, Circular of Instruction of the School of Drawing, Painting, Modeling, Decorative Designing and Architecture, 1892, p.5. Alice is mentioned (teacher Drawing and Painting, Life and Antique) and p.7 (Teacher Head and Costumed-Life Class). “The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 6/5/1892, p.38, mentions she was joining the staff, as does “The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 8/28/1892, p.27.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 6/12/1892, p.39. For her return from summer vacation see: “The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 8/28/1892, p.27. It’s possible she spent the entire summer there. For information on the Hillside estate see: Waldo Brown, Chronicles of an American home, Hillside (Wyoming, New York) and its family: 1858-1928, (NY: J. J. Little & Ives Co., 1930).
Catalogue. Fourth Annual Exhibition by the Art Students’ League of Chicago (Chicago: Art Students’ League, 11/21/1892.), catalog entries #62-64. “Pictures of Many Kinds On View,” Chicago Tribune, 11/22/1892, p.2.
“Among Chicago’s Art Studios,” Chicago Evening Post, 9/16/1892, p.4. “New Incorporations,” Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1892, p.10.
Palette Club Tenth Annual Exhibition, (Chicago: Palette Club, 12/1/1892). Alice’s address was now listed as “Longwood, IL.”
“Artists Every One,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/2/1892, p.1.
“Reception of the Palette Club,” Chicago Tribune, 12/2/1892, p.3.
“Art, Artists, and Ateliers,” Chicago Evening Post, 12/1/1892, p.4.“Exhibition of the Palette Club,”, The Arts, Vol. 1, No. 8, January 1893, p.41.
Lillian Whiting, “Art In New York,” Daily Inter Ocean, 5/7/1892, p.12.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 2/19/1893, p.32. “About The Studios,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 2/26/1893, p.27.
“World’s Fair Doings: The Art Jury Completes Its Work of Selection,” Daily Inter Ocean, 3/11/1893, p.5. Op. cit., Chicago Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12.
Op. cit., Chicago Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12. Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4. The request came early in 1891 after the painting was seen at the Society of American Artists exhibit in New York. Op. cit., Chicago Evening Post, 5/8/1891, p.5. The painting was also illustrated in Tudor Jenks, The Century Worlds’ Fair Book for Boys and Girls: Being the adventures of Harry and Philip with their tutor, Mr. Douglass at the World’s Columbian Exposition, (New York: The Century Co., 1893), p.136. More recently it was illustrated in Revisiting the White City: American Art at the 1893 World’s Fair, (Washington: National Museum of American Art, 1993), p.274.
New York, The Century Co., 1893, p.136.
Op. cit., Blaugrund, Archives of American Art, p.18, with reference to fn 20 in Jeanne Weimann, The Fair Women, (Chicago: Academy Chicago, 1981), p.561.
“Task For Fair Hands: Women To Decorate Part of the Illinois Building,” Chicago Tribune, 10/29/1892, p.13. “By Illinois Women,” Chicago Tribune, 4/16/1893, p.25. “Notes Of Artists And Ateliers,” Chicago Evening Post, 4/14/1893, p.4. The work was illustrated in A. Blanche Nichols, “The Illinois Reception-Room,” Current Literature, Vol. XIV, No. 2, October 1893, p.179.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 4/16/1893, p.38.
“Fine Arts: The Palette Club,” Official Catalogue of the Illinois Woman's Exposition Board, (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1893), p.136, with illustration on p.137.
“Open To The Public: Beauties of the Reception Room,” Chicago Tribune, 5/18/1893, p.9.
“By Brush and Chisel: Sculptors and Painters Who Have Decorated The Fair,” 11/27/1892, p.33. Op. cit., The Graphic, No. 14, 10/1/1892, p.239. Op. cit., The Art Amateur, 1893, p.35.
Op. cit., Official Catalogue…, 1893, p.56.
As 1894 opened, Alice was as busy as ever. In January, as President of the Palette Club, she was one of four artists who organized an effort to donate works of art for the destitute, a sale then arranged by the Subcommittee on Art and Artists of the Central Relief Association, which opened an exhibition at the galleries of the Chicago Society of Artists. The country was in the throes of a depression, and the poorest among the city were suffering. This event garnered a great deal of press. Members of the Palette Club had donated twenty paintings. However, a Tribune article decried the fact that the artists, except for Alice and a few others, had not donated their best works for the auction. In this donation, we see her true spirit. A few years later she would donate more works for the Northwestern Settlement House Christmas sale in Evanston, a cause she surely wholeheartedly supported given her activities at Chicago’s Hull-House.
At the time of the twelfth annual Palette Club exhibition in February, (they considered their exhibit in the Illinois Building at the World’s Fair the eleventh annual), she listed her address as No. 5 Art League Studios, 302 Wabash Avenue, which a newspaper article said was shared with fellow artist Beatrix Wilcox, in the Giles Building. By this time, the club had achieved a significant following, and was flourishing. The catalog included twelve pages of advertisements by some twenty companies and was profusely illustrated with half-tone photographs of paintings throughout. Previous catalogs had been much more modest affairs. Columnist Lucy Monroe, who wielded a good bit of influence, announced in The Critic that Alice had easily outdistanced all competitors at the Palette Club exhibition with her “four fine portraits” and a “charming little portrait sketch and a dainty little conceit.” In all, Alice showed eight works, one of which was illustrated in the catalog. Monroe was pleased with the use of “color as an aid to the expression of character with fine sincerity and skill.” In each portrait—the child in whites, a young girl in yellows, or an old man in grays—Alice produced a “thoroughly harmonious result” where “sumptuous…rich…and warm” colors formed “superb settings.” Monroe called attention to a unique trait found in Alice’s portrait of Hull House founder Jane Addams, saying it was her “finest work [a] masterly portrait…very simple and reserved in color;” the paramount of Alice’s repertoire.” One of her portraits was sketched to accompany a review in the local press.
In March, her work was accepted for the sixth annual black and white exhibition of the Chicago Society of Artists. There she showed another work of a mother and child, described as “a large sized sketch…. The mother seated with her babe on her lap is holding to its mouth a ball, which the babe also grasps with both hands.” The work was illustrated in the Tribune and the critic stated that “Miss Kellogg is one of the strongest and most promising artists in the city, and the work, full of just composition and story characterization, is prophetic of her future.”
Shortly after the exhibition, Jane Addams wrote to her sister that at the first opportunity Alice was to paint a picture of her [a copy of her earlier work] for a close friend, Mary Smith. Addams, recognizing Alice’s talent, engaged her several other times. When the spring exhibition at Hull-House was opened, Alice showed, among several other works, Little Dutch Girl that was “a joy to behold.” Soon thereafter she headed to Michigan again, this time with fellow Palette Club member Anna Van Cleef Dodgshun (1855-1945).
A portrait of the Cummings [sic Cushing] children, which would later be exhibited, to some acclaim, at the Art Institute, was announced in the Sunday Inter Ocean, where the critic heaped praises on the work and exclaimed “It is one of the best things [she] has ever done.” In that article it was mentioned as an “open secret” that she was to be married, and that while little was known of her betrothed, “she is not apt to make a mistake in choosing a life partner.” The article continued that she would forgo teaching at the Art Institute upon marriage, which would be expected, at that time, of a newly married woman. And, on September 3, 1894, Alice married businessman and artist Orno James Tyler (1852-1917) in Chicago. She was thirty-one years old and Orno was forty-three. They made their home in the south side at Longwood (now Chicago). Their lives were full of expectation when Alice became pregnant. However, sadly, she miscarried. The child was unnamed at the time of burial at Mount Greenwood Cemetery.
In the fall of 1894, Alice exhibited in the seventh annual exhibition of American artists at the Art Institute, a show which had been surrounded with some controversy. The preface to the exhibition catalog explained that both conservative and progressive works were on display, and that sixty-two paintings were procured by Sara Hallowell from American artists working in Paris. The preface continued that many works from Paris were shown for the first time, and when returned to the artist, would be shown at the Paris Salon. The press felt Chicago artists were “well represented,” and this included Alice. Chicago never “had an exhibition quite so impressionistic.” Some critics lacked appreciation for the exhibition of sun-filled and prismatic paintings and called them “nothing but daubs,” while others felt the exhibit retained “just enough of the mellow tints of the old school.” Overall, the opinion was that the local artists had “contributed largely to the glory of the exhibition.” The most important critics of the day were the senior artists of Chicago. In a group that called themselves “A Critical Triumvirate,” noted sculptor Lorado Taft, highly respected painters Oliver Dennett Grover (1861-1927) and Charles Francis Browne (1859-1920), and author Hamlin Garland (1860-1940), issued a pamphlet through their Central Art Association providing a critique of the Art Institute annual show. In it, they lamented that Alice’s painting Little Sisters (the two daughters of and lent by Mrs. F. W. Cushing) was so terribly undeservedly hung high on the wall. Taft commented, “I saw it at O’Brien’s, and it seemed to me one of the daintiest, most charming pictures of childhood that I have seen for many a day.” Grover continued, “There’s no woman’s feebleness in the handling.” When Taft added “It is a beautiful thing,” all four of the critics chimed in “It is.”
The School of the Art Institute School circular for 1894-1895 listed her as a teacher of drawing and painting from life, however, it was printed in advance, and later noticed that she had resigned her teaching position. A news article mentioned that the next term would begin in October, but that Alice had resigned and would “no longer teach.” Later, a June 1895 column, describing the operation and benefits of the School of the Art Institute, listed Alice as a principal woman teacher along with Caroline D. Wade. Hence, it’s possible that after her September 1894 marriage, and then the loss of her child in May 1895, either she had resigned in the fall, and rejoined in the spring, or rejoined the faculty for summer school.
In retrospect, 1894 was the busiest year of the then thirty-one-year-old Alice. She was teaching at the Art Institute and privately, she traveled to Michigan over the summer, her work was accepted into annual exhibits for the Cosmopolitan Art Club (where two years earlier she was one of only three women to be named honorary members), Art Students’ League, Palette Club, Butler Gallery at Hull House, Chicago Society of Artists black & white, and the Art Institute’s American artists, and to top off the hectic schedule, she was married. Seven years earlier while studying in France, she had committed herself to “work, work, work.” It was clear that she was industrious and indeed continued to work.
It was not unusual for recently married women to cease from their art, though Alice continued as a professional, advertising as a painter at her long-time studio in the Palette Club’s same building, 302 Wabash Ave., in the Chicago Art Directory of The Arts in 1895. (The School of the Art Institute had temporarily located in the same building in 1892, while awaiting the completion of the museum building on Michigan Avenue). Eight of her works were shown at in the thirteenth annual Palette Club exhibit in January 1895. Three of those were illustrated in the catalog, jointly produced with the Cosmopolitan Club, an all-male members artists group. She was one of only a handful of women who exhibited also with the Cosmopolitan Club’s grouping of works. A critic in The Arts, which also illustrated her works, exclaimed, “Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler always gives us good things. Her work has so much of life and color, partaking more or less of her own personal, vivacious nature.”
Alice remained at the forefront of art news when she received the Charles Tyson Yerkes second prize of $200 at the seventh annual exhibition of the Chicago Society of Artists, then the most prestigious all-male art organization in the city. The award was given her painting, A Portrait, a “portrait of a man.” First prize was given to fellow Palette Club member Pauline Dohn (later Rudolph). The prizes were voted upon by the members of the Chicago Society of Artists and “when it was announced that both prizes went to women there was a loud, gallant, and artistic cheer.” The Arts reiterated that the portrait was in Alice’s “best style” and “a charming likeness of a sweet, gentle-faced woman” while her “versatile brush” was also very good at landscape.
Shortly after tragically losing her child, Alice was named to the advisory committee (or jury) of artists for the eighth annual American exhibition of oil paintings and sculpture at the Art Institute. Two of her works were juried into the show. Around this same time, she completed a portrait of John Clark Coonley, founder and past president of the Union League Club of Chicago, which was commissioned by his widow and Alice’s patroness Lydia Coonley-Ward and presented to the club. The portrait was “a symphony in brown… produced in numerous tones of this shade, and in this Miss Kellogg has made a decided hit, as the effect is rich and elegant. The picture is all that could be desired.” That summer she “close[d] her studios” and headed to upper Michigan again, for a summer of sketching and painting.
When the Young Fortnightly Club, an energetic body of bright society girls, established a salon day at the Art Institute, they issued five hundred invitations to celebrate. A prize of $100 was given for the best oil painting painted during the year, which had never been exhibited, and was by an artist resident in Chicago for at least one year. The prize was judged by a panel of members from the Chicago Society of Artists, Cosmopolitan Art Club, Palette Club, and the Young Fortnightly Club, and represented the year’s highest honor for an artist. Wisely, they appointed Alice, representing the Palette Club, as part of their strong jury. While “many of Chicago’s best-known artists contributed” Alice did not, perhaps because of her duty on the jury. A highly curated show, only thirty-five entries were accepted for a chance at the prize.
In November she lent her child painting Doing Her Sums for a children’s publication, and apt use of her work. The following month she exhibited at the fourteenth annual exhibition of the Palette Club, once again held at the Art Institute, showing two portraits, including one depicting her mother, as well as three “clever” landscapes. Opening night was “thronged” as it coincided with three other opening exhibitions; two one-man shows, and that of the Art Students League. “Those who have attended former receptions said the Palette Club’s showing was the best in history.” While the oil portrait of her mother was “charming,” her other contribution, A Gentlemen, was her “strongest work in that line” ever. The same critic commented that her small, upright oil of a “majestic tree and a luminous sky,” was “one of the best landscapes in the Palette Club collection.” Overall, it was noted that “The Palette Club exhibit is undoubtedly the best yet by this, the oldest of local art societies.” Critic Harriet Monroe diverged significantly from the other critics, saying the group was “sadly in need of a little masculine vigor and virility.” Monroe clarified the statement saying, “I hasten to exempt the work of Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler and Miss Pauline A. Dohn.” However, she noted that their work had been shown elsewhere before. The exhibition catalog showed that Alice had started another term as president of the club, where in January of 1895, she was not an officer. She now had a new address, after many years in her old quarters, moving into a “large studio” in the newly built Steinway Hall, a mecca for the city’s architects, including Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd. This was the last exhibition by the Palette Club. In the following two years, they combined their efforts under the banner of the Cosmopolitan Art Club.
She also participated in other exhibits, 1895 being as busy as the previous year, including the: Society of American Artists annual; Arché Club Salon Day; Central Art Association traveling show, and the Chicago Woman’s Club tribute to noted Chicago artists, and Art Institute’s American annual. Additionally, she completed illustration work for the woman’s edition of the Chicago Evening Journal for the benefit of the Maternity Hospital and the Children’s Aid Society.
As president of the Palette Club, Alice must have been a driving force behind the disbandment of the club’s exhibitions, which had been held annually since 1883. Evidently, seeing how successful the combined exhibition was, in 1895, with the previously all-male Cosmopolitan Art Club, she and fellow members must have judged that if they combined future exhibitions, they would generate significantly more interest, and income. Therefore, the fourteenth annual exhibit by the Palette Club would be their last, and the narrow exhibition catalog, with no advertisements, printed on thin paper, was likely in deference to this a fait accompli. The Tribune critic, commented that Alice’s portraits were “among the best shown and also some of the strongest work [she had] ever done.”
In the late Winter 1896 Alice maintained a busy exhibition schedule showing in the West End Woman’s Club newly inaugurated annual, and at the Klio Association, an organization formed to aid young women, also recently inaugurated annual exhibition, where her portrait of her mother was “admired by a great many of the guests.” The Cosmopolitan Art Club opened their fifth annual exhibition at the Art Institute in March as well. Alice was one of six Palette Club members were listed “Associate Members.” The catalog was impressive. It began with five lengthy essays on art. Thirty-five works of art were illustrated, and the back was filled with paid advertisements. Over thirty of the exhibitors were women. One of Alice’s entries was described as a “clever picture of a little girl holding a candle.” Another critic commented: “Few Chicago Artists equal Alice Kellogg Tyler in force and style. She works in all vehicles with equal dexterity.”
When Alice’s work didn’t appear at the Art Institute’s annual watercolor show in 1896, the press commented that she was “sadly missed, even though she had never previously shown in that exhibition. Her work had always held “potent charm” for the public that looked forward to viewing her products and she never let the community down because “every performance from Mrs. Tyler’s brush” was satisfactory. She also created what the public cared to see, with a stroke “at once gentle and vigorous” and “modeling round and true to life.”
The Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition engaged Alice as a jurist for the Chicago Jury of Selection in 1896. Since the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition ignited great interest in art, subsequent fairs incorporated major exhibitions of paintings. The fine arts department for the Tennessee Centennial therefore planned to select a well-regarded and expert jury from around the country to secure top artistic works for their exhibition. They sought out jurists who had “contributed intelligently to American art” and who would leave “legacies” as “testimonials of their genius.” Artists selected to serve on the jury were “of well-known ability” and were able to “give honest judgment on all works submitted” for approval. Alice represented Chicago’s group of jurists. Her responsibility was to choose works that exemplified the best art of the era. Described as the “bright, interesting woman who enters into the spirit of art with a personality that is almost indescribable.” However, Alice was unable to serve and was replaced by Pauline Dohn, for unknown reasons. Alice’s work Study of a Girl, was accepted by the jury.
As summer approached Alice remained active. An advertisement announced that she planned to take a class of students to Hillside, Wisconsin for two weeks of sketching in the Helena Valley. The group was to stay at the Hillside Home School which had a studio. The thirty-five-dollar fee was due in advance of departure from Union Depot on June 22 for Spring Green Station. It was thought she might also join a newly formed summer art colony at Bass Lake, IN, with the “Critical Triumvirate” of Taft, Browne and Grover. In the fall her work was accepted for the last time at the annual American artists exhibit at the Art Institute, where she exhibited Portrait of Bessie Moore (Lent by Mrs. E. L. Moore, location unknown). One critic commented that it was a “…fine example of the fruition of Chicago talent, by local and foreign study, persevered in to success.” The critic added “The painting cannot but add to the fame of this deserving artist.”
At the opening meeting of the Englewood Woman’s Club in October, Alice was the keynote speaker, giving “an entertaining talk on art.”
She must have felt excitement over the formation of the Society of Western Artists, with Frank Duveneck (1848-1919) as its first president, in the spring of 1896. On December 15 that year, the new group held their first annual exhibition at the Art Institute. As organized, the exhibition then traveled to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis. Despite competition from the local charity ball and the formal opening of the Chicago Historical Society in its new quarters, the exhibition was well-attended by “art lovers from all ranks of society.” Fashionable men and women mingled among college students to view the important collection of 221 paintings, nineteen works of sculpture, and seventeen examples of Rookwood pottery. Many of the paintings in the exhibition were Impressionistic in style, something to which Chicagoans had become accustomed, since the 1893 World’s Fair. Presumably, the portrait of her mother, which Alice exhibited, was also done in this brisk manner. The press recognized Alice’s mastery of portraiture and called her work one of the “strongest and most pleasing” in the show while Frank Charles Peyraud’s (1858-1948) canvas was one of the best landscapes.
Alice had drawn favorable praise on her work in pastel such as: “most pleasing pastellist,” and “master of the lighter material.” A critic noted that her “dexterous” fingers obtained from the “fascinating and treacherous vehicle,” (the soft pastel) “the most legitimate and charming effects.” Continuing, the critic said her color sense was “faultless” and her skillful handling resulted in portraits that were “exquisite.” It’s likely her work Daffodils, was a pastel, which was accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual as the year 1896 closed out. When the Pastelists club was formed in January 1897, it was only natural that Alice joined their ranks. Organized by Chicago artist Edgar Spier Cameron (1862-1944), the club was formed for the purpose of displaying the advantages that works in pastel had over other mediums such as oil and watercolor painting. The club held an exhibition in February 1897, at O’Brien’s Art Gallery. Their effort confirmed that pastel was “not only a convenient medium, but a practical and lasting one as well.” Unlike the oil, glue, turpentine, or other vehicles used with pigments which were subject to deterioration with atmospheric change, the dry coloring matter of pastels remained unaltered and stable. Alice proved to be a master of pastel drawing, with her subjects “finely drawn and delicately treated.” She thoroughly grasped the medium’s capabilities to softly blend tones in a way that was impossible with any other medium.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 12/31/1893, p.18. “Around The Studios,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 12/31/1893, p.15. “Sale of Pictures for Charity,” Chicago Tribune, 1/13/1894, p.2.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 1/14/1894, p.39. “Cash Ready For The Needy: ‘Charity Sale’ of Pictures Begins,” Chicago Tribune, 1/17/1894, p.8.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 1/21/1894, p.38.
“Bazaar in Evanston: The Art Room,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/4/1896, p.3.
“Where Art Thrives. Chicago Has Its Studios and Its Bohemian Spirit,” Chicago Tribune. 1/28/1894. p.25. The Twelfth Annual Exhibition of the Palette Club at the Art Institute, (Chicago: Palette Club, 2/1/1894). Catalog entries #s 55-62. Several other artists of note had their studios in the building including Charles Francis Browne, and sculptors Herman Atkins McNeil (1866-1947) and Julia M. Bracken (later Wendt) (1870-1942). “Chicago Art Directory,” The Arts (Arts For America), Vol. 3, No. 11 (1894), p.337.
Lucy Monroe, “Chicago Letter,” The Critic, Vol. 21, 2/24/1894, p.135. See also, In “Art Notes of The Week,” Chicago Times, 9/9/1894, p.21.
“About The Studios,” Sunday Inter Ocean, Vol. XXII, No. 315, 2/4/1894, Part 3, p.27.
“From Local Easels: Some Works by Women,” Chicago Tribune, 3/3/1894, p.4.
Letter to Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman from Jane Addams, 3/17/1894, microfilm Reel 2, #1513, and 4/27/1894, #1530. Op. cit., The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, pp.418-419: Jane Addams’s sister Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman contracted with Alice to paint the first portrait of Jane Addams. Before the work was sent to the Haldeman family in Girard, Kansas, Jane Addams asked Kellogg to make a copy of the work for Mary Rozet Smith. The first of these came to the Chicago History Museum and but was later badly damaged and the second is in the Hull-House collection. On p.491, footnote 1: Jane Addams had written to her sister Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman to tell her that the portraits she had commissioned were ready. “The pictures are framed and are very magnificent. Mine is $25.00 and Marcet’s [Anna Marcet Haldeman, Sarah Alice’s daughter] is $28.50.” This footnote comes from Indiana University, Lilly Library, Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman papers, 2:1504. Op. cit., The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, p.423: She would paint many portraits of those associated with Hull-House including, Dr. Leila G. Bedell, Jenny Dow Harvery, Edith Redding (a settlement neighbor’s daughter), Marcet Haldeman, John C. Coonley, his wife Lydia Coonley (later Coonley-Ward), and her daughter, illustrated in op. cit., Hayes, The National Magazine, April 1897, p.54.
“Alice D. Kellogg. No. 9, ‘Little Dutch Girl,’ Lent by Miss Mary Rozet Smith,” Pictures on Exhibition at the Butler Gallery, Hull-House. Exhibition catalogue, (Chicago: Hull House, 3/28/1894), Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, microfilm, roll 25, no. 418, frame 467, Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago. (Descriptive criticism is included in the catalogue with some of the artwork.)
“Art, Artists And Ateliers,” Chicago Evening Post, 6/1/1894, p.4.
“Makes Art His Idol,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 8/26/1894, p.23.
Orno J. Taylor was the secretary of the Story and Clark Organ and Piano Co. Op. cit, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, p.423. Marriage License. State of Illinois, Cook County. The upper portion of the license states “Marriage may be celebrated between Mr. Orno J. Tyler of Chicago, in the County of Cook and the State of Illinois, of the age of 43 years, and Miss Alice D. Kellogg of Chicago in the County of Cook ad State of Illinois, of the age of 31 years.” The lower portion states “I, Daniel V. Heffron a Minister hereby certify that Mr. Orno J. Tyer and Miss Alice D. Kellogg were united in Marriage by me at Longwood, Chicago in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, on the third (3rd) day of September 1894.” Signed “Daniel V. Heffron, Late Pastor of Bethany Union Church, Chicago.” Office of the Secretary of State, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Ronald Williams Library, Northeastern Illinois University.
United Annual Exhibit of the Palette Club and the Cosmopolitan Art Club, Thirteenth Annual Palette Club Exhibition (Chicago: Palette and Cosmopolitan Clubs, 1/24/1895).
Cemetery records. Mount Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60655-2242. Cemeteries record as follows: “No. 5107, Name of Deceased Baby Tyler, Age Premature birth Date of Death 5/2/95 Date of Interment 5/3/95 Kindred C.H. Foster Residence 6800 Lafayette In Whose Lot Interred Foster Name of Undertaker J.J. Horming, Am’t Collected $2.00 C.B. Fol. 76 Lot 252 Sec. 23” Another document states “Premature and Still Birth Permit. Department of Health. 5107/5/3/95. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Chicago, May 3, 1895.
Catalogue of the Seventh Annual Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 10/29/1894). “Many Fine Pictures,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 10/28/1894, p.31. “Art Institute Exhibition,” Chicago Times-Herald, 10/25/1894, p.6.
All quotations and comments come from, “Artists of America,” Daily Inter Ocean, 10/25/1894, p.7.
She was the wife of Hotel Moraine in Highland Park, IL. Her obituary may be found in The Daily National Hotel Reporter, Vol. 47, No. 301, 12/24/1918.
A Critical Triumvirate, Impressions on Impressionism. Being a Discussion of the American Art Exhibit at the Art Institute, Chicago, (Chicago: Central Art Association, Autumn 1894), p.14.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Circular of Instruction 1894-1895, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago), p.5. In the introduction to the school catalogue, 9/1/1894 it was announced “We regret to announce that Miss Kellogg has resigned her position and will no longer teach. A copy of this page is also found in the AIC Scrapbooks, Vol. 6, preface [prior to p.1].
“Art of the Week,” Chicago Times, 9/16/1894, p.20. stated that “Miss Kellogg” resigned, rather than “Mrs. Tyler.,” presumably to avoid confusion since she been known as “Miss Kellogg” at the Art Institute School.
“Students at the Art Institute,” Chicago Times-Herald, 6/2/1895, p.25.
Research by the Illinois Historical Art Project of all school circulars and catalogs shows an uninterrupted period of teaching from 1892 to 1895.
“The Fine Arts,” Chicago Tribune, 3/6/1892, p.26.
“A Fine Exhibition,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/20/1894, p.8.
Op. cit., letter #10, 11/5/1887.
Published by the Central Art Association it underwent a name change to Arts for America. “Chicago Art Directory,” The Arts, Vol. IV, No. 1, July 1895, p.33.
The Standard Guide To Chicago, 1892, p.140. University of Illinois Libraries, https://archive.org/stream/standardguidetoc00flin/standardguidetoc00flin_djvu.txt accessed 1/4/2021.
United Annual Exhibition of the Palette Club and the Cosmopolitan Club. Thirteenth Annual Exhibition of the Palette Club, (Chicago: Palette Club, 1/24/1895). “Art Clubs Combine,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 1/20/1895, p.23. “Many Pictures of Merit On View,” Daily Inter Ocean, 1/24/1895, p.7. “Pictures That Are Worth Seeing, “Chicago Tribune, 1/25/1895, p.12. “His Lovely Model,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 1/27/1895, p.27.
:The Cosmopolitan Club Exhibit,” Chicago Tribune, 1/21/1895, p.3.
“The Palette Exhibition,” The Arts (Arts For America), Vol. 3, No. 8 (1895), pp.219-222.
“Prizes For Women Artists,” Chicago Chronicle, 5/30/1895, p.5. “With The Artists,” Chicago Tribune, 6/2/1895, P.34.
“Fair Sex Win Prizes: Women Secure The Charles T. Yerkes Art Trophies,” Chicago Tribune, 5/30/1895, p.8. Op. cit., The Arts, December 1895, p.181. “About Art And Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 5/31/1895, p.5. Emma Carleton, “Chicago Artists' Exhibition,” The Mid-Continent Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, July 1895, pp.211-214.
“American Artists and their Critics,” The Arts, Vol. 4, No. 5, November 1895, p.141.
“Art Gossip,” Chicago Tribune, 6/16/1895, p.37. “The World of Art,” Chicago Tribune, 6/23/1895, p.31. Catalogue of the Eighth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 10/22/1895), p.10.
“Among The Artists,” Chicago Times, 6/21/1895, p.31. Lena M. McCauley, Catalogue of Paintings, Etchings, Engravings and Sculpture, (Chicago: Union league Club, 1907), #32, p.27. The Union League Club today (January 2021) is suffering from a severe financial crisis and has been selling its art collection to raise funds to pay down bank debt. Several portraits of famous men have been sold, and it’s unknown if this portrait remains in their collection.
Op. cit., Chicago Times, 6/21/1895, p.31.
“Society Favors Art: Reception and Exhibit by the Young Fortnightly Club,” Daily Inter Ocean, 12/11/1895, p.5.
“Young Fortnightly Exhibition,” Chicago Times-Herald, 11/17/1895, p.39, and “Art and Artists,” Chicago Tribune, 11/17/1895, p.38. “Svend Svendsen Wins The Young Fortnightly Club’s Prize,” Chicago Tribune, 12/11/1895, p.8.
Exhibition catalog: Competitive Art Exhibit, (Chicago: The Young Fortnightly, 1895).
Adelle J. Gray, “Maple Leaf Story,” Child-Garden: Of Story, Song and Play, Vol. III, No. 12, November 1895, p.361.
“Echoes from the Studios,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 12/15/1895, p.31.
“New Work of Art On Exhibition,” Chicago Tribune, 12/13/1895, p.8.
“Four Exhibits in One, Opening at Art Institute,” Chicago Times-Herald,” 12/13/1895, p.5. Similar comment was made in “In the Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 12/15/1895, p.44.
“New Work by Artists: Four Exhibits Open to the Public This Evening,” Chicago Tribune, 12/12/1895, p.3.
Harriet Monroe, “Chicago Letter,” The Critic, Vol. 24, 12/21/1895, p.433.
Isabel McDougall, “Gossip of Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 12/21/1895, p.6. Op. cit., Sunday Inter Ocean, 12/15/1895, p.31. Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of the Palette Club, (Chicago: The Palette Club, 12/12/1895). Arts For America, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1896, p.68. The studio was formerly occupied by Jules Guérin (1866-1946), who vacated to studio in Paris. Building history at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinway_Hall_(Chicago), accessed 12/30/2020.
Seventeenth Annual Exhibition of the Society of American Artists, (New York, Society of American Artists, 3/25/1895): The Secret of the Rose, cat. #83, p.38. Address Longwood, p.75.
“’Salon Days’ At The Arche Club,” Chicago Tribune, 3/26/1895, p.9. "For The Love Of Art: Arche Club Celebrates Its First Birthday With A ‘Salon,’” Chicago Tribune, 3/30/1895, p.8. Lucie Van Nevar, “Mrs. Ford Speaks to the Point About Art in Chicago,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 3/31/1895, part 3, p.31.
“The Central [Art] Association has collected the work of artists on the Atlantic seaboard and in late years has succeeded in bringing out the work of many artists in Illinois, Indiana…. Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler of Chicago has two pictures entitled ‘The Mother’ and ‘Asleep.’ The first especially is lifelike and is greatly admired. “Fine Works of Art,” Chicago Tribune, 5/3/1895, p.5. When The Mother was shown at the Janesville Art Association, it was voted the second most popular painting, selected from one hundred forty paintings, in the traveling exhibition. “Central Art Association at Janesville,” The Arts (Arts For America), Vol. 3, No. 11 (1894), p.313, 324.
Alice’s patron, Mrs. Coonley-Ward, was the 2nd Vice President of the organization. Florence N. Levy, editor, American Art Annual 1898, Vol. 1, (New York: MacMillan Company, 1899), p. 164. For the Woman’s Club see, “About Art And Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 2/22/1895, p.7. Two of her works were shown at the Art Institute. Catalogue of the Eighth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 10/22/1895). Catalog entries #326, 327.
“In the Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 11/3/1895, p.41.
14th Annual Palette Club Exhibition, (Chicago: Palette Club, 12/12/1895). Several articles reference the exhibit including: “Palette Club Exhibit,” Chicago Chronicle, 12/13/1895, p.5 and Lucie Van Nevar, “Echoes From the Studios,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 12/15/1895, p.31.
“In The Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 12/15/1895, p.44.
“In The Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 3/1/1896, p.29.
“Visit Salon of the Klio Club,” Chicago Chronicle, 3/6/1896, p.8. Also, “Art From Local Brushes,” Chicago Tribune, 3/6/1896, p.12.
Catalogue. Fifth Annual Exhibition of the Cosmopolitan Art Club. (Chicago: Cosmopolitan Art Club, 3/10/1896). “Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Journal, 3/12/1896. Joanne Bowie clipping file, n.p. Alice’s catalog entries #s202-205. Her paintings Good Night and Portrait of Rev. D. S. Heffron were illustrated. The Reverend Heffron was the clergyman who had married Alice and Orno.
“In The Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 3/22/1896, p.39.
“News of Current Art,” Chicago Times Herald, 3/15/1896, p.18.
“News of Current Art,” Chicago Times-Herald, 5/3/1896, p.32.
Tennessee Centennial Exposition Fine Art Catalogue, (Nashville: The Brandon Co., 1897; reprint by Olana Gallery), p.11. A photograph of her and other jury members appears on the page.
“Juries of Selection,” Arts for America, Vol. 5, No. 6, July 1896, p.229.
“Selects Art Work For Nashville,” Chicago Tribune, 4/1/1897, p.2.
Op. cit., Tennessee Centennial…, p.259, catalogue entry 470½.
Promotion from Alice Kellogg Tyler dated 6/10/1896. Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, microfilm 1991, frame 893, Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago.
Op. cit., Promotion 6/10/1896.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 4/18/1896, p.10. “Art and Artists,” Sunday Chicago Tribune, 5/17/1896, p.14. The Illinois Historical Art Project has extensive research into this art colony, and how it later moved to Oregon, IL and flourished as the Eagle’s Nest art colony.
Catalogue of the Ninth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago), 10/20/1896. A miniature of the sitter, by Virginia Reynolds, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Virginia_Richmond_Reynolds accessed 1/4/2021.
“The Arts,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 10/25/1896, p.35.
“Other Social Events,” Chicago Chronicle, 10/14/1896, p.10.
“In The Social World,” Chicago Times Herald, 3/11/1896, p.5. All information on the Society of Western Artists from
“Fine Exhibit of Art: Western Society’s First Show,” Chicago Times-Herald, 12/16/1896, p.9.
Op. cit., Chicago Times-Herald, 12/16/1896, p.9.
First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Western Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago and Society of Western Artists, 12/15/1896). This was the only time she exhibited with the group, as evidenced by successive exhibition catalogs.
Op. cit., Chicago Times-Herald, 12/16/1896, p.9.
Op. cit., Chicago Times-Herald, 5/3/1896, p.32.
“Water Colors, Pastels, Etchings, Miniatures, Etc.,” Catalogue of the Sixty-Sixth Annual Exhibition, Dec 21, 1896, to Feb 22, 1897, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1896), catalog entry #745 Daffodils. Evergreen Park was listed as her address in the catalog, just west of Longwood Cook County.
“Local Tone,” Arts for America, Vol. 6, No. 6, February 1897, pp.190-191.
Op. cit., Arts for America, February 1897, pp.190-191. “The Arts,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 2/7/1897, p.27 and 2/14/1897, 27.
Op. cit., Arts for America, February 1897, pp.190-191.
Op. cit., Arts for America, February 1897, pp.190-191.
In 1897, her portrait was one of the most ambitious works at the West End Women’s Club exhibition. “Admirably painted ‘Mother and Child’” was noted by one critic as among those works “certain to attract attention.” Alice also participated on the jury of selection with artists Lorado Taft and Charles Frances Browne, Mrs. J. B. Sherwood representing the West End Women’s Club, and General Charles Fitz-Simons of the Illinois Club. The next month the Arché Club opened their third annual salon, to much complaint by artists, in that the jury was very “severe” with only less than a third of the works accepted. With so many exhibitions back-to-back in the city, many artists, including Alice, showed works that had previously appeared elsewhere.
During the year she had been working at illustrations, “some charming color designs,” for a children’s book, Singing Verses for Children by wealthy patron and suffragist Lydia Coonley-Ward. Alice’s special affection for children came through in the drawings, so much so, that when published, it was noted one of the most “delightful books” of the year.  Coonley-Ward had wanted to express the bright and happy conditions of the child’s life through the collection of verses. Alice’s art complemented the text “with its delightful simplicity” and proved to be “much admired.” She also illustrated the cover and frontispiece of The Muses Up to Date, a series of updated fairy tales made into plays for children. Throughout 1897, she demonstrated her versatility in other mediums. As one exhibition closed in Chicago, another opened.
A month later the Cosmopolitan Art Club opened their sixth annual exhibition, which was their last show before disbanding. Alice was a member of the ten-artist jury. Held in connection with the Horticultural Society’s annual Chrysanthemum Show, at the Second Regiment Armory in Chicago, one critic skewered the show, and the jury by saying “It is a lack of discrimination or lack of moral courage which makes them responsible for the poorest exhibition ever given by this club.” She then listed all members of the jury, as if to point a finer point on her meaning. One of Alice’s small works, The Summer Idyl, was described by another critic as “an indescribable symphony of sunshine and wondering childhood.” A few weeks later, another critic, said, “By Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler – There are in addition to a number of delicately painted landscapes a charming portrait of a young girl, and a pleasing composition of a party of children watching fireworks shooting into the early evening sky.” Yet another critic discussed Alice’s versatility as an artist, contrasting two of her works. The first was a portrait of fellow artist Beatrice Wilcox (1868-1951) and described as: “noticeable for its strength and unity of tone.” The second was a landscape entitled The Hot Weather Idyl : “…vibrating with light and color, and is broad and frank in treatment.” The critic continued: “Both reveal the sincerity and delicacy of feeling always to be found in Mrs. Tyler’s works.” The critic continued with a discussion of a recent visit to the Taylor home in Longwood, and flatly stated that Alice was “perhaps the most gifted and certainly the one of the strongest artists in Chicago.”
Later that year, the various art clubs decided to pool their efforts for one major annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Therefore, exhibitions by the Cosmopolitan Art Club, Palette Club, and Chicago Society of Artists ceased after 1897 as they were brought under one organization, the Chicago Art Association, for an annual exhibition at the Art Institute. Alice was one of five artist members of the Association. Part of their mission was to beautify Chicago, exemplified most forcefully when the group renamed itself Municipal Art League. At a symposium, organized by the Association, on civic beauty, in 1898, Alice was one of the keynote speakers, espousing the benefits of a city of art, combating the ever present filthy industrial environment.
To the Chicago artists’ benefit, a combination of private club showings into one major exhibition was beneficial as over ten major prizes were given by various clubs. As a former President of the Palette Club, she must have worked hard to bring about this important change. The second annual of these combined Art Institute shows was organized in 1898 and Alice served on the jury of selection and hanging committee. She did not exhibit any works, which is odd, since the other seven jurors did pass the jury. It’s difficult to ascertain now, but perhaps she felt that as a juror she shouldn’t exhibit, or perhaps she was preparing for what she thought were more important Eastern exhibitions and did not have fresh work to show. Later in the year her work was indeed accepted at the annual exhibitions of the New York Watercolor Club and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. That year she also completed a portrait of Mary Rozet Smith, a wealthy and ardent supporter of Hull House.
The following spring, in April 1899, her pastel portrait of Dr. Cornelia de Bey, a homeopathic doctor who was deeply involved in the settlement house movement and Hull House, was accepted by the jury for the eleventh Annual Exhibition of Water-Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists, which filled five galleries at the Art Institute. The portrait depicted a “slender blonde” Dr. de Bey in a gray coat and gown. The two had a close relationship as Dr. de Bey roommate [and companion] was Alice’s sister Kate. One writer said, “At first viewing the most impressive and important works contributed are a pastel portrait by Alice Kellogg Tyler... Mrs. Tyler’s portrait occupies the place of honor in the center gallery, and it well deserves the compliment paid it.” Artist, author, and a leader of the Chicago artists community, James William Pattison (1844-1915), interpreted the work as having two centers, the hand and a remarkable face, and fine sky work, which made it “the best portrait of the exhibition.” There is some poignancy in knowing the portrait was of the doctor who tended Alice in her final illness. Despite diminished output in the last years of her short life, Alice’s work never conveyed the onset of an irreversible illness.
Although Chicago Department of Health records state Alice’s cause of death was diabetes, she also apparently suffered from “Bright’s” disease for a year. “Bright’s” disease is now an obsolete and vague term for a kidney ailment associated with Richard Bright. In her era, Bright’s disease took away more lives “than any other known ailment,” except perhaps consumption. Ironically, only eleven days after Alice succumbed to the disease in 1900, the Sunday Chicago Times-Herald ran an elaborate advertisement on an herbal treatment for Bright’s disease. An eminent kidney specialist claimed discovery of a cure—Swamp-Root—which leading hospitals used. Through special arrangements with the Times-Herald, readers could receive at no cost a sample of Swamp-Root from Dr. Kilmer & Co. of Binghamton, New York.
While Alice’s personal diary indicated “treatments” during her last month, there is no certainty as to what they specifically entailed. She recorded how the weeks passed, and treatments were routine. Alice focused on positive occurrences, her comings and goings, her desire to paint. While there were signs that her health failed and she required rest, she continued with her normal life almost up until the end, painting images, brisk impressions with words, that held beauty in their simplicity—as if that were how she hoped to be remembered.
Orno made an accounting of Alice’s final hours in which he portrayed her as both angelic and courageous.
“I hoped and expected to find her as well as usual. She met me with a manner and smile sweet beyond thought, but so like a spirit, and seeming to have so little strength… Dr. de Bey came…I went out…And when I returned Alice’s sweet blessed life was no longer [visibly] with us. She has been so brave and cheery.”
She died on Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 14, 1900, only thirty-seven years old. The succinct obituary from the following day reported only that she was wife of Orno J. Tyler and that the funeral was private. Orno’s last private recollection of his wife was of the solemn ride out to Mount Greenwood Cemetery in the carriages and Alice lying with the few daffodils he had given her for a Valentine in her hand. She was interred there in a family section, with unmarked graves, lot 252, section 23. Orno did not remarry and eventually joined his wife in death on July 23, 1917 at the age of sixty-four. He died at the Kellogg residence, Evergreen Park. The funeral was private.
When Alice died, Orno privately grieved, but many Chicagoans also mourned for Alice, the artist who led an extraordinary life, and filled it with accomplishment. She was on the path to a formidable career, but sadly did not live long enough to extend her artistic zenith into the twentieth century as did others such as Mary Cassatt (1844-1926).
Someone close to Alice, probably Amy Atkinson, had been unfortunately mistaken, about hopes for a long and prosperous life, when she wrote to her: “You are not one of those ill-fated ones who have to die with all their music in them…May all the coming years grant you your heart’s desire…” The public’s memory of Alice faded, like that of so many Chicago artists, despite the success she had in her own time. In her short career, she won some of Chicago’s highest honors and exhibited paintings in many prestigious shows. She taught at one of the most distinguished American professional art schools and led a women’s art league that competed with the best of the men. She was an honored member in art societies.
As one of the original students at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, one of the Art Institute’s earliest and most inspiring female instructors, and one of Chicago’s leading artists, she played a key role in creating the city’s cultural image. Her life also dispelled any previous widespread saccharine convictions that nineteenth century women were unable to do serious art and produced little in terms of art or ideas. On the contrary, Alice was the epitome of nineteenth century women artists who thrived in a climate of risk-taking, competition, and exposure.
Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft, probably the most respected artist in the city, and a fellow teacher at the School of the Art Institute, wrote that Alice was “the leader in local art” when he had arrived in Chicago fifteen years prior to her 1900 death. He claimed her position of primacy was not a “generous concession on the part of gallant brother painters, but a position which she had earned by the intrinsic value of her work. It was hers by the divine right of genius, and in title was loyally defended by all members of the profession hereabout.” Taft also noted how Alice instinctively knew how to capture the character of each subject, saying, “Her color sense was exquisite.” The “delicacy” of her work juxtaposed with a “masculine strength of draughtsmanship and of technic [sic]” instilled her compositions with an incomparable uniqueness. Her works simultaneously possessed “tenderness and strength.” Her “unusual sense of color… impressed all her professional associates.” Yet according to Taft, Alice “was greater than any of her works.” She “seemed almost an ideal artist—the soul of art personified. In her frank, zestful love of her work, of nature, of life, there was something rare and exalted. It was a breath of the divine, a glimpse of our normal estate, from which we have wandered far.” Taft claimed Alice’s life was an inspiration.
The Chicago Tribune had this to say after her death:
The death of Mrs. Alice Kellogg Tyler last week removes from the art world of Chicago one of its brightest lights. She was one of the ablest artists the city has produced… Her fame rested chiefly on her exceptional ability as a figure painter, although her paintings of landscapes and flowers were imbued with delicacy and charm…. Her modesty and amiability made her a universal favorite among all here fellow artists.
Thus, Alice’s artistic greatness entailed more than talent, but also her ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of others and to maintain Chicago with a sense of awe. By 1901, her works were scattered throughout many homes, but one of her best works, Mother and Child, has remained on view at Hull-House, “a spot very dear to her” where she “radiated light.” Chicago “produced no better artist.”
Seventeen years after her death, her husband Orno Tyler died at the Kellogg residence on Chicago’s in Evergreen Park, a south Chicago suburb.
Jane Addams, who had become such a close friend, wrote a filling eulogy, some thirty years after Alice passed:
Alice Tyler lifted every relation up to its highest possibility…. Her sisters eagerly testify that her relations to them… transfigured affection into a mutually sustaining and growing aptitude…for a fuller life. Her personality filled to the ideal many relations and overflowed them all in a generosity which knew no bounds. She developed power as an artist because she craved life and more abundantly. Her soul refused to grow weary, her power remained undimmed, doing her bidding until the end…. She cared much for [life’s] human joys and consolations, for books and friends and common tasks. Death must have come to her as a kindly natural friend, as part of life itself; as natural as the open landscape, the high-arched sky, the silent stars…. Her pictures hang upon the various walls of Hull-House; they attract by a rare quality of beauty and power. but always give out clearly this message: Do not consent that life shall become dreary and commonplace; insist upon distilling the best from it; keep the spirit broad awake.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 2/20/1897, p.10 It is unclear how many works of this title she completed during her career, or if she felt this one painting so strong, it should be exhibited frequently, which artists often did with portraits, as a means of advertising their capabilities for portrait commissions. Alice had participated in their first Salon Day in 1896 as well.
“Prizes For Art Works,” Chicago Tribune, 2/19/1897, p.9.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 1/23/1897, p.10. “Salon for Local Art” Chicago Times-Herald, 1/26/1897, p.9. “In The Art Studios,” Chicago Tribune, 1/24/1897, p.38.
“Arche Club Salon Open,” Chicago Tribune, 3/24/1897, p.10.
Op. cit., Arts for America, March 1898, p.404. The publication was announced in “Fresh Literary Notes,” Chicago Tribune, 8/9/1897, p.10. Several advertisements for the publication appeared in the newspapers, such as, classified ads, Chicago Tribune, 10/23/1897, p.13. She did several drawing studies throughout her career. One such work entitled Out of Work, was illustrated posthumously in Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House, (NY: MacMillan Company, 1912), p.220. This was a copy of her work by the book’s illustrator.
Advertisement in Arts for America, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1897, p.179. See also Singing Verses for Children, (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1897). A copy of Singing Verses for Children is with the Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago, frame 905 through.
Op. cit., advertisement, Arts for America, 1897, p.179.
Op. cit., Arts for America, March 1898, p.404.
“Art and Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 2/17/1900, p.8.
Published in Chicago by Williams and Way, 1897. It was written by Henrietta Dexter Field, the sister-in-law of noted illustration artist Howard Pyle (1853-1911).
Isabel McDougall, “Art And Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 2/26/1898, p.10. For further Information see Catalogue, Sixth Annual Exhibition of the Cosmopolitan Art Club of Chicago, (Chicago: Cosmopolitan Club of Chicago, 11/9/1897), p.5 and “Art,” Chicago Tribune, 10/10/1897, p.39.
“Art and Flowers,” Arts for America, Vol. 7, No. 4, November 1897, p.231
“Art,” Chicago Tribune, 11/7/1897, p.43.
The portrait had been completed earlier and was discussed in op. cit., Chicago Times-Herald, p.32.
M. S. N., “Art,” Sunday Inter Ocean, Vol. XXV1, No. 228, 11/7/1897, Part 5, p.39.
Charles Francis Browne, “Chicago 1897,” Arts For America, Vol. 7, No. 5, January 1898, p.301.
Exhibition of Works by Chicago Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2/1/1898), p.35.
“Talk On Civic Beauty,” Sunday Inter Ocean, 5/29/1898, p.12.
For further information see the “Art Organizations” section in this book.
Op. cit., Exhibition of Works by Chicago Artists, 2/1/1898, p.9.
“Art, Music and Literary Clubroom,” Arts for America, Vol. 7, No. 5, January 1898, pp.305-306. Exhibition of Works by Chicago Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2/1/1898), p.35. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2/1/1898), p.9.
Op. cit., Levy, American Art Annual, p.491.
Isabel McDougall, “Art And Artists,” Chicago Evening Post, 4/28/1898, p.10. Op. cit., The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, p.767 fn.11: She painted a portrait of Miss Smith (of Winnetka) for Jane Addams at a cost of $150. Alice said of the work “I am happy in the thought that it is artistically good. It really is dear Miss Addams.” Letter from Alice to Jane Addams, Wed. A.M. , Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Jane Addams Collection, 3:925).For more on Miss Smith see: https://janeaddams.ramapo.edu/2019/07/jane-addams-mary-rozet-smith-and-the-disappointments-of-one-sided-correspondence/ accessed 1/1/2021.
Annual Exhibition of Water-Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists, (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 5/2/1899), catalog entry 386. For further information on de Bey, see Suzanne M. Sinke, Dutch Immigrant Women in the United States, 1880-1920, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2002).
Op. cit., https://digital.janeaddams.ramapo.edu/items/show/2116. Op. cit., Sinke, Dutch Immigrant Women…, 2002, p.115.
“Art and Artists,” The Chicago Evening Post, 4/29/1899, p.8.
James William Pattison, “Water-Color Exhibition at the Art Institute,” Brush and Pencil, Vol. 4, No. 3, June 1899, p.151.
Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4. She may have felt the beginning of the illness in 1898 when she moved her studio out of Chicago at the Steinway Building and into her home at Longwood. Op. cit., Chicago Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12. Several entries in her diary show she continued to work: 1/1/1900 “Fire in studio fire-place & tender sunset seen through windows.” Also 1/2/1900 “Wrote letters. Painted a little.” 1/7/1900 “Walk at twilight, along lake shore-beautiful. Am going to paint Ellen.” 1/8/1900 “Bought some books.” 1/9/1900 “Painted ‘til dark. Wrote out part of my C.S. (Christian Science?) lesson.”
Op. cit., Chicago Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12.
It was characterized by swelling and the presence of albumin in the urine and was frequently accompanied by high blood pressure and heart disease. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright%27s_disease accessed 1/1/2021.
“Bright’s Disease: For the First Time in the History of Medicine, a Cure for Bright’s Disease has Been Discovered,” Sunday Chicago Times-Herald, 2/25/1900, p.3.
Orno Tyler, completion of Alice’s Kellogg Tyler’s diary for the days after her death on 2/14/1900, Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, microfilm 1991, frame 811.
Index to Death Records, Cook County Illinois Bureau of Vital Statistics, from 1871 to 1916, p.17,055, identification number 0000018237. From the Mt. Greenwood Cemetery records: “Department of Health Place of Death 2326 Indiana Ave. Cause of Death Diabetes, Medical Attendant C.B. DeBey, to Mt. Greenwood for interment…” In Orno’s journal, he wrote on 2/12/1900, “After work I called at Miss Jones, 2326 Indiana Ave. to see Alice. I hoped and expected to find her as well as usual…. Decided to stay over night, went out to Englewood & saw Peggy & Mary. Couldn’t get the folks at home by telephone, to tell them I should stay in… Miss Ida Jones sat by Dr. & ‘treated’ her all night…. Before or about daylight I tried to get Dr. de Bey on telephone, but couldn’t get any response... Took first R.I. train out, and came directly back on another train after seeing Kate…. Dr. de Bey came I went out to telephone for Kate & Mary (Peggy had come). And when I returned Alice’s sweet blessed life was no longer visibly with us…. She was brought out to the old house.” This entry indicates she died at the home of Ida Jones where she received treatment while in the company of her close friend and upon her death, they moved her to the old Kellogg homestead. “Official Death Record,” Chicago Tribune, 2/17/1900, p.14.
“Deaths,” Chicago Tribune, 2/15/1900, p.9. “Deaths,” Chicago Chronicle, 2/15/1900, p.3. Daily Inter Ocean, 2/15/1900, p.11. “Deaths”, Chicago Times-Herald, 2/15/1900, p.10, and 2/16/1900, p.10.
Op. cit., Orno Tyler, Alice Kellogg Tyler Diary, frame 811, 1900.
Mount Greenwood Cemetery records. Op. cit., Chronicle, 2/16/1900, p.12. The article stated it was “Longwood Cemetery”.
His death is recorded in the Chicago Tribune, 7/24/1917, p.15. Family information. Op. cit., Mount Greenwood Cemetery records. Mount Greenwood Cemetery records state “No. 23830, Name of Deceased Orno Tyler, Age 64 yrs. 11 mos. 12 days, Date of Death July 23, 1917, Adult 60, Date of Interment July 25, 1917. Another document has the heading “Coupon to be Detached and Retained by Sexton” and following information “Name of Deceased Orno James Tyler, Place of Death 95 & B &? O? R.R.--Evergreen Pk, Cause of Death Tuberculos of Lungs and Intestines.”
Letter from A.B.A. (or D.) to Alice Kellogg, 12/14/1893, Alice Kellogg Tyler papers, microfilm, frames 356-360. There is some question as to whether the letter, which is signed A.B. “D” or “A” was from Arthur B. Davies or Alice’s friend Amy Atkinson. At the top of the letter is Prag Frensham Farnham Surrey [United Kingdom], December 14, 1893. The author of the letter stated, “How I wish I could have known him.” (Alice’s father had died.) Amy in England probably wouldn’t have known Alice’s father. The author of the letter also mentions that Ida (Haskell) sent magazines, which depicted the Chicago Fair [World’s Columbian Exposition], which the author claimed not to have visited. The author also mentions memories of Paris and Venice. There is a good case this is not a letter by A.B. Davies as originally thought by earlier scholars.
Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4.
“Art,” Chicago Tribune, 2/18/1900, p.40.
Op. cit., Taft, Chicago Record, 2/14/1901, p.4.
Op. cit, Chicago Evening Post, 2/17/1900, p.8.
“Death Notices: Tyler,” Chicago Tribune, 7/24/1917, p.15.
Op. cit., Addams, The Excellent Becomes the Permanent, 1932, pp.54, 55, 57.