Anna Skeele (1896-1963)
Anna Skeele was born in Wellington, Ohio. As a young art student, Skeele went to study at the Art Students League of New York City as a pupil of Charles Hawthorne and Frederic Bridgman. Skeele then travelled to Europe where she happened to encounter modernism at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and with André Lhote in Paris. Skeele went on to the Royal Academy of Arts in Florence, Italy where she studied art history and furthered her training as a painter.
Skeele eventually made her way to California in 1912 where she attended the California School of Fine Arts as a pupil of Armin Hansen in Monterey, California. Highly skilled as an artist by this point in her career, Skeele was offered a teaching position at Pomona College. Anna Katherine Skeele Dann then married fellow artist Frode Dann.
During the mid-century in Southern California, a vibrant collective of modern artists like Skeele encountered one another. Because of the number of important art schools in the area -- artists were able to innovate techniques and share styles unlike anywhere else in America. Artists like Anna Katharine Skeele, Helen Lundeberg, Henrietta Shore, Henry Lee McFee, and Francis De Erdely were some of the artists who developed a distinctive figurative style rooted in modernism.
Skeele favored figurative art but painted with a modernist sensibility she had picked up in Europe. Skeele utilized an almost Fauvist palette, cubist forms, flattened panes of color. Skeele developed an aesthetic distinctive to her.
Anna Skeele spent quite a bit of time in the Southwest -- and she became fascinated by the people and place. Some of her most striking paintings often depict Native Americans in and around New Mexico.