|Brenetta Herrman Crawford |
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Brenetta Bimm Herrman was born in Toledo, Ohio on October 27, 1875, the daughter of Charles and Emma (Clark) Herrman. The family lived in New York City during her childhood and she studied at the Art Students League in New York for a number of years. In 1896, as a young woman, she traveled to France and studied in Paris under Paul Albert Besnard at L’Académie Colarossi and then at the LAcadémie Carmen under James McNeill Whistler.
While in Paris, Brenetta met her future husband, fellow artist Earl Stetson Crawford, a protégé of Whistler. Earl's father was the manufacturer of the Stetson hat. After five years of travel and study, Brenetta returned to New York around 1901 where she continued to paint and teach art. Likewise, Earl returned to the United States. The couple married in New Jersey in 1903. In 1923, the couple, along with their daughter, who was born in 1904, left their studio home in Nutley, New Jersey, and returned to Europe, where they remained from 1923 to 1936. France became their home base and the couple made frequent painting trips to Holland, Belgium, and Italy. With the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and unrest developing across Europe, they returned to the U.S. from France in 1936, and by 1941 moved to Southern California, living first in South Pasadena and then Pasadena. Brenetta remained there for the rest of her life.
Brenetta's oeuvre includes oils, pastels and etching, with subjects including portraits, miniatures, and landscapes. She often painted in a thick pointillist style, involving the application of separate dots or points of color laid next to each other that together create a composition, which was completely different from her highly realistic, thinly painted miniatures of portraits and cathedrals. This demonstrated her versatility as an artist. Her paintings on ivory of French cathedrals were exhibited in Europe and the U.S., and her easel paintings are in many private and public collections.
Brenetta passed away in Pasadena, California on May 30, 1956.
Member: National Association of Portrait Painters; American Society of Miniature Painters; National Association of Women Painters; Pasadena Society of Artists; New York Miniature Society; California Society of Miniature Painters; New York Society of Women Artists.
Exhibited: National Academy of Design, New York, Society of American Art; St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Boston Art Club, Massachusetts; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Carnegie Institute; Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris; National Museum of Monaco in Monte Carlo.
Works held: National Museum of Monaco in Monte Carlo
St. Gaudens, Maurine. "Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960" Vol. 1. 2015.