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Laura Van Pappelendam

Laura Van Pappelendam


Laura van Pappelendam was an educator and artist. As an educator she was dedicated to the study of art

being a legitimate part of liberal arts curriculums. She had a nearly life-long association with the Art Institute

of Chicago, as student, artist and fifty-year teacher.  She studied from 1904-1909 at the School of the Art

Institute, continuing with classes until she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education in 1926.  She

won honorable mentions in 1910-1912, and 1917.


Van Pappelendam gained a doctorate in 1929 from the University of Chicago, where she helped establish

both the Department of Art in 1924 and the Renaissance Club, and then taught in the University Department

of Art part time from 1919 to 1948, overlapping with the Art Institute where she taught for fifty years, from

1909-1959.  For a time, she also taught summer classes at Illinois State Normal School (now Illinois State



Amazingly for all of the energy she devoted to teaching, she is equally and perhaps best remembered as an

oil painter, whose subjects included Southwest landscapes and scenes from Florence, Arizona.  She won

numerous awards and "Had her work included in 250 art exhibitions both here and abroad." (Hunt, 80)

Despite her enormous teaching load, Van Pappelendam was somehow a very productive artist, painting

mainly during the summer months and when on a leave from the Art Institute.  Her work, executed mainly in

oil, included impressionistic landscapes, flowers and views of everyday life.  Some of her painting locations

include Chicago and Normal, Illinois, 1909-1915; Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1916; Mexico, in 1928-

1936, where she studied with Diego Rivera in 1930; Europe, 1937, 1958-1960; and Keokuk, Iowa, 1938-



She also painted extensively in the American Southwest, including Colorado, 1917; and California, 1918-

1919, 1941, 1949, 1956-1957.  She painted in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Santa Fe, New Mexico, from

1920-1927.  Perhaps her most important paintings during the 1950s were created in northern New Mexico,

from 1950-1955.


During her long and varied career, she encountered a number of artists with large reputations, when a

student and after, who influenced her work, including George Bellows, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, Kenyon

Cox, Charles W. Hawthorne, Nicholas Roerich, Karl Buehr, and Charles Francis Browne.

The artist lived and worked in Chicago until 1962, moving to Tucson, Arizona, until 1966, when illness forced

her into a convalescent home in Pico Rivera, California. Her last years were passed in a Downey, California,

convalescent home.  She died February 10, 1974, in Norwalk, California, on her ninety-first birthday.

Laura van Pappelendam's works are in the collections of the Illinois State Museum, Springfield; University of

Chicago; John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Gallery, Chicago; Art Institute of Chicago; Lee County Historical

Society, Keokuk, Iowa; and Art League, Oak Park, Illinois


The U.S. Embassy Residence in Dublin, Ireland, exhibited her work for an extended period from 1957-1961,

but Chicago was the center of her art exhibition experience with most of the two hundred fifty shows in which

she participated taking place there.


However, just as her painting travels ranged widely, so, too, her exhibitions in New York City venues like the

Whitney Museum of American Art, Riverside Museum, and Academy of Allied Arts; as well as the City Art

Museum, St. Louis; Women Painters of America, Wichita, Kansas; Sesquicentennial International

Exposition, Philadelphia; Women's International Exposition, Detroit; Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri;

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; and

National College of Art, Dublin.



Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

Jean S. Hunt, Walking With Women Through Chicago History II

Available paintings by Laura Van Pappelendam

There are currently no paintings available for this artist.