Jessie Botke Biography
Jessie Hazel Arms Botke (1883 - 1971) Born in Chicago, Jessie Botke is known for her exotic, highly decorated bird studies, especially elegant plumages of peacocks. She also did other subjects including Indian figures, genre, and desert landscapes, and usually painted in oil but worked in watercolor and gouache and frequently used gold and silver leaf in backgrounds.
She received art training at the Chicago Art Institute from John Johanson and spent a summer with Charles Woodbury in Ogunquit, Maine. She traveled in Europe and in 1911 moved to New York City where she became a student of Albert Herter and worked at Herter Looms until 1915, becoming a specialist in tapestry cartoons. She also worked with Herter doing all of the birds on a mural for the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco and with Herter's wife as a private home decorator.
Returning to Chicago, she married Dutch-born Cornelius Botke, and they worked on murals together in Chicago for the Kellogg Company and the University of Chicago, Noyes Hall.
By 1906, Botke had arranged an exchange of her paintings for a trip West on the Santa Fe Railroad to Arizona and California, and the Railroad acquired works titled "Hopi Indian Life" and "California Missions". She exhibited some of these western-subject paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1918, the couple first visited California together, and in 1920, settled on a ten-acre ranch near Santa Paula, California, although they traveled in Europe from 1923 to 1925. In 1927, they moved to southern California, living in Wheeler Canyon near Santa Paula.
She was a member of the California Art Club, the California Water Color Society, and the Foundation of Western Art. She won numerous prizes including high distinction from the Chicago Art Institute.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940".
"An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West" by Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick.
Paul Sternberg, Sr., "Art by American Women"