ILLINOIS HISTORICAL ART PROJECT
MINNIE HARMS NEEBE
MINNIE HARMS NEEBE was born in Chicago, in 1873, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fine Arts Academy of Provincetown, Mass. Her outstanding teachers were Lorser Feitelson, Charles Hawthorne, Walter Ufer, Louis A. Neebe, Charles F. Brown, E. Ambrose Webster and W. J. Reynolds. She has painted in the East, the Middle West, the Far West and along the Pacific Coast. She is a member of the Chicago Society of Artists, the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, the Art Institute of Chicago Alumni Association, the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts and the San Diego Art Association. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, various other local exhibition places and in many other cities. She has had one-artist shows in Chicago and in several cities in Florida and California. Her work has been written about in the Chicago Evening Post, the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Tribune and various other newspapers and magazines. She is represented in the permanent collections of the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago City Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art.
Personal expression in art-what does it really mean? Well, as far as I can see, it means really nothing more than a collection of ideas. And these ideas are fused with one's self and with one's experiences. Anyone who is able to take ideas, experiences and emotions, make them his own, put the impress of his personality upon them, and give them to the world bodied forth in line and color or in figures and objects modeled or carved in stone, wood, clay, etc., is a creator in the realm of visual art. And in doing this he is giving vent to personal expression. Is all this a contribution to society? In the narrow sense it may or may not be. In the broader sense all art is decidedly something of benefit to all humanity. But the artist is not concerned with whether his work is a contribution to society or not. He is concerned with realizing himself, with satisfying himself, with achieving for himself a sense of fulfillment. So much by way of a general statement. Now to answer a few specific questions. Does form play a part in my art, I am asked. And I answer, a very important part, for in a sense, all art is nothing but form. Now as to color, I never use color for its own sake but always as a contribution to form and as a means of effecting the illusion of volume and of distance. The purely abstract in art occupies a most important place, although I always fuse it with the more realistic phases of my canvases. I consider my work an expression of the present age which in turn is, of course, an outgrowth and a continuation of former ages. To conclude, I am not influenced in my work by demands of galleries and the art market, and I believe that criticism does not affect me. Minnie Harms Neebe.