Untitled Document

Artist Biography

 Born in McHenry, Illinois, Pauline Lennard studied for six years at the Art Institute of Chicago School, and also in Paris, most notably with the American Richard E. Miller. In 1891, she married Dr. Albert Palmer of Chicago, and between 1900 and 1914, the couple made numerous trips to Europe. Pauline painted in France at Auvers, Pont Aven, and Giverny; in Italy, she painted in Venice and Verona. The Palmers also traveled through Germany and Austria. For many years, the Palmers maintained a summer home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where Pauline studied with Charles Hawthorne, founder of the Cape Cod School of Art, and protégé of William Merritt Chase.

Palmer was an active participant in Chicago art organizations. She was a member of the Chicago Municipal Art League, Chicago Art Guild, Chicago Women’s Salon, and she was director of the Chicago Drama League. In 1918, she served as the first woman president of the Chicago Society of Artists, and in 1927 she was elected President of The Art Institute Alumni Association. She also served as President of the Chicago Association of Painters and Sculptors from 1929 to 1931.

Palmer maintained an extremely active exhibition schedule throughout her life. From 1896 until her death in 1938, she participated (often with as many as eight entries) in nearly every annual at the Art Institute of Chicago, and won most of the museum’s awards and prizes over the years. She was invited to show her work at the National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art Biennials of 1916 and 1926. She also participated in expositions in Buffalo (1901), St. Louis (1904), and San Francisco (1915).

Though she maintained her Chicago residence throughout her life, Palmer spent almost every summer in the old whaling port of Provincetown, which must have reminded her of the quaint fishing villages she had painted in Brittany. After her husband’s death in 1919, Palmer became a virtual resident of the Cape, painting the dunes, beaches, the local residents (especially the families of the Portuguese fisherman), her garden, and her studio.