Joane Cromwell - Indian Reservation - circa 1930s Oil on Board P2971
A vivid, confidently executed landscape painting of Indian land. Art measures 12" x 16 1/4" , frame (with some visible loss of finish in the photos) is 15 1/2" x 19 1/2".
Joane Cromwell was born Catherine Joane Strode on November 22, 1895, in the village of Bernadotte, Illinois, near Lewiston. The daughter of Dr. William Smith and Julie (Brown) Strode, she grew up in Lewistown and graduated with honors from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1916. She married Leslie A. Blakely in 1917. Their son Leslie Cromwell Blakely was born in 1918 while Joane was living with her mother in Southern California; the couple divorced in 1922, and it appears that she divided her time between Illinois and California in those years, as evidenced by the 1920 United States Census where she is listed as a resident of Illinois. By 1922, she was a resident of Laguna Beach.
During her early years in California, she exhibited under the name Catherine Strode or Catherine Strode Blakely. After adopting the name Joane Cromwell professionally, she moved to Los Angeles and enrolled at the Otis Art Institute, graduating in 1929. In 1930, she married Joseph W. Skidmore, a partner in Skidmore Brothers real estate development company in Laguna Beach but continued to work under the name Joane Cromwell.
In December 1932, she was listed in California Arts & Architecture magazine’s artist directory as a resident of Los Angeles. During her career, she studied with a number of noted artists, including Anna Hills, Edgar A. Payne, George DeMont Otis, and Jack Wilkinson Smith. For a number of years, she also maintained a studio in the desert near Palm Springs.
In 1938, Joseph Skidmore died; in 1942, she married Andrew Christian, whom she divorced in 1948. Joane’s early focus was largely on Laguna landscapes. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, she added to her themes,with desert landscapes dominating. Also a muralist, she executed works for the Santa Anita Race Track, Arcadia, California, in 1939, and for the Hollywood Park Race Track, Inglewood, California, in 1942.
Joane, who received an honorable mention at an American Institute of Chicago show in 1918, also displayed works at exhibitions, including those of Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Springville Museum of Art, Utah; Laguna Beach Art Association Artists’ Fiesta, Los Angeles; Desert Inn Gallery, Palm Springs; and Artists of Southern California, San Diego. She had a solo show at the La Jolla Art Club, 1942. Her known memberships were in the Laguna Beach Art Association, The Illinois Academy of Fine Arts of Chicago, and the Art Guild of the Fine Arts Society of San Diego.
In 1957, she married Morris D. Liddle to whom she was married at the time of her death. Joane Cromwell Liddle passed away on December 23, 1969, in Santa Ana, California.
Biography submitted by Maurine St. Gaudens
Source: Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960, Maurine St. Gaudens, Editor, 2016.