Jessie Arms Botke

Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971)

Jessie Arms Botke is best known as a California landscape painter, etcher, and woodblock printer. Born in Chicago, Illinois Botke attended the Chicago Art Institute, as a young artist. She became a pupil of John Johanson and traveled to Europe to further her artistic training. In 1911 Botke moved to New York City where she worked at Herter Looms until 1915, creating tapestries. The influence of the tapestry aesthetic can been seen throughout her later works. She met the artist named Cornelius Botke, whom she would  soon marry. The two artists moved to Carmel, California where they collaborated on paintings and murals. Botke was commissioned to paint a mural depicting birds for the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California another common motif throughout her career. 

Botke became well-regarded painter of her time. In the 1920s she and Cornelius moved to a ranch near Santa Barbara in Santa Paula, California. Jessie Arms Botke painted landscapes, figures, seascapes, and  produced some prints. She is best known for her gold-leaf paintings of tropical birds. Botke’s extraordinary body of work established her as an important California painter and printmaker. Botke exhibited throughout her career at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other renowned institutions. Her paintings are held in both public and private collections, including the University of Chicago, Oakland Museum of California, San Diego Museum of Art, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

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