MACENA BARTON was born in Union City, Michigan, on August 2, 1901, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her outstanding teachers were Leon Kroll, John Norton, Wellington Reynolds and Allen Philbrick. She is a member of the Chicago Galleries Association, the Chicago Society of Artists and the South Side Art Association and has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles Museum, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, the Ann Arbor Art Association, the Addison Gallery of American Art of Andover, Mass., the Everhart Museum of Scranton, Pa., the Baltimore Museum, the Carnegie Institute, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, N. Y. One-artist exhibitions of her work have been held at the Art Institute of Chicago, Knoedler's Gallery in Chicago and the Chicago Galleries Association. She has been awarded the Augustus Peabody, the Chicago Woman's Aid and the Chicago Women's Club prizes, and is represented in the Collections of Vincent Benedix, Arthur T. Aldis, Frank G. Logan and C. J. Bulliet. Her work has been written about in Chicago newspapers and magazines, and in Creative Art, The Arts and the New York Times. Among the writers who have commented upon her work are C. J . Bulliet, Eleanor Jewett, Irwin St. John Tucker and Forbes Watson.
Only a great ego can produce a great work, whether in art, literature or music; therefore no work of art can be greater than the one who produces it. In producing a painting the subject matter is not so important as the manner in which it is handled by the individual artist. The aim is to produce a great picture, whether it be a portrait, a still life, a landscape, or a work in any other genre. Form, if interpreted in terms of modeling, I consider very important; as without form one has only a flat design, a two-dimensional work. Color I use as a contribution to form and also for its own sake. I am intensely interested in color, having an orientalist's passion for it. One's work must necessarily be more or less an expression of the age in which he lives, also influenced somewhat by environment. I do not, however, consider my work peculiarly American nor peculiar to Chicago. Up to the present time I have never entered the field of abstraction. What I may do along that line in the future I do not know. I admire abstraction if well done and believe it has as important a place in art as has naturalism. My art is a personal expression. I paint exactly what I feel and am not influenced by the methods of other artists, even of those whom I admire most. I paint to please myself, to satisfy an inner urge that must find expression. One must live life in order to interpret it. To put this interpretation upon canvas should be the chief aim of the painter. Macena Barton.