Florence Julia Bach (1887-1979), The White Fan, c.1940; oil on canvas, 48 ¼ x 34 ¼ inches (Frame: 52 1/8 x 38 14 x 2 5/16 inches); Purchased and conserved with funds donated by Carol and John Kociela, 2013
Nancy Weekly on Florence Julia Bach's The White Fan (c. 1940)
Monday, July 8, 2013
This painting was lent by Forentine B. Jassogne for the exhibition Our Legacy of Art in Western New York Art, held at the Charles Burchfield Center, State University College at Buffalo, September 14 - October 24, 1971. According to the exhibition catalog, “The White Fan was exhibited at the National Academy in New York City where, after someone from Tiffany’s had viewed it, arranged to place it in Tiffany’s window surrounding it with diamonds and other precious jewels.”
In the painting, an unidentified woman, possibly a bride, is seated in front of a mirror in a room that has several paintings on the nearby wall. She is wearing a Spanish mantilla— a lace veil over a high comb— and she is holding a large white fan, which dominates the foreground, but complements the diagonal of the woman’s tilted face so that her dark eyes gazing out of the picture plane become the true focal point.
Florence Julia Bach was born in Buffalo, New York and received her art education at the Buffalo School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League in Buffalo and in New York, where she studied with William Merritt Chase and Frank Vincent Dumond. She traveled to France and received a diploma in sculpture from the École des Beaux Art in Fontainebleu, where she studied modeling with Louis Le Jeune in 1925. She also studied sculpture in Italy in 1932 and in France, Germany, and Italy in 1935.
Working both as a sculptor and painter, she exhibited works in both media extensively. She also worked in pastels. She was a member of, and exhibited with, the Buffalo Society of Artists for many years, winning numerous prizes, and she served as BSA President from 1929-30. Later she became a member of the Patteran Society, a group of artists who separated from the Buffalo Society of Artists in 1933, having considered the older group to be too conservative.
Bach’s work was represented by the Grand Central Art Gallery in New York City and in 1944 had a solo exhibition there. After teaching at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy for 29 years, she moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, where she taught art part-time.
Head of Collections and the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator
Email Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Weekly is the Head of Collections and the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator for the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the world’s only museum dedicated to American watercolor master Charles E. Burchfield and artists of the Buffalo Niagara region. She also serves as an adjunct lecturer in Museum Studies for the Department of History and Social Studies Education at Buffalo State College.