Coreen Spellman

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COREEN SPELLMAN (Am. 1905-1978)

Born in Forney, she moved to Dallas when a young girl. There she studied under Vivian Aunspaugh before enrolling in the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Women’s University), Denton, which granted her a baccalaureate in costume design (1925). She obtained a master of fine arts from Columbia University (1926) and a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa, Iowa City (1942). Spellman received a Carnegie Scholarship for study at Harvard University during the summer of 1927. Afterward she studied under Kenneth Hayes Miller, Vaclav Vytlacil, and Charles Wheeler Locke at the Art Students League of New York (1928-29), under Carlos Merida at San Carlos Academy, Mexico City (summer 1932),. and under Charles J. Martin in Provincetown, Massachusetts (summer 1933). Spellman was also a student of Eliot O’Hara and William E. Schumacher and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1935 until her retirement in 1974, Spellman taught painting, illustration, and drawing at her alma mater in Denton as well as at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School in the 1940s. She worked summers in Colorado, in Las Vegas and Taos, New Mexico, and in the Big Bend region of Texas.

In a national competition of 1932, her lithograph nude was selected by John Taylor Arms and Max Weber for inclusion in Fifty Prints of the Year and the nationwide tour that followed under the sponsorship of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York. She illustrated a number of children’s books and was a visiting professor at Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, Sul Ross State Teachers College, Alpine, and New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas. Spellman died in Denton and was buried in Forney. “Her lithographs, etchings, and mezzotints are distinguished by technical competence, good draughtmanship, and sound design.”

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