Blondell Malone Papers, 1800-1956


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Dates: Papers, 1800-1956 (bulk, 1898-1951)
Extent: ca. 10 linear ft.
Location: PU-4



1877 Blondelle Octavia Edwards Malone was born to Miles Alexander and Sarah Glenn (Jones) Malone on November 16th near Bostwick, Georgia. The family lived in Augusta, Georgia, until around 1883 when they moved to Columbia, South Carolina. The Malones lived at 1517 Gervais Street.
1892-96 At age fifteen, Blondelle entered Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as a special student.
1897 Studied briefly at the New York School of Applied Design for Women. Transferred to the New York School of Art.
1898 Blondelle returned to Columbia and was presented by the South Carolina Club at the State Ball on November 17th.
1899-1900 Returned to New York to continue her art studies at the Art Students' League.
1900 Exhibited book cover designs at the Architectural League in New York. Contacted by Harper & Brothers Publishers and Charles Scribners' Sons Publishers; both companies expressed an interest in seeing more of her work. In March, Blondelle received a check for $25 from Charles Scribners' Sons Publishers for two designs.
1901-02 Left from Columbia for California. Spent time painting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and Pacific Grove.
1903 Set sail for Yokohama, Japan, from Portland, Oregon, on January 26th. Arrived in Yokohama in early March. Painted for a year in Japan.
1904 In February, left Japan for Paris. Traveled through Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and Europe. While in Venice, met English painters Walter Richard Sickert and Henry Simpson, who became Blondelle's life-long friends.
1904 Made the acquaintance of the widow of Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro and the French portrait artist, Jacques Blanche. In Giverny, France, Blondelle met Claude Monet. Painted his garden in December.
1905 Returned to Columbia, South Carolina, in December.
1906 Sailed from Charleston to New York in June. Went with Mrs. Swinburne (a fellow student from the Art Students' League) to Newport, Rhode Island, where they summered and painted.
1909-10 Returned to Europe. Traveled throughout Europe before arriving in France. In France, Blondelle received a letter of introduction to Auguste Rodin from Jacques Blanche. She visited Rodin on several occasions. Arrived in Eragny, France, in October 1910. Reestablished contact with Madame Camille Pissarro and stayed with her until December. In December, Blondelle relocated to Paris.
1911 Exhibited oil paintings and watercolors at Salon d'Automne I and at the 21st Exhibition of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. Her critically acclaimed painting of Pissarro's garden was displayed at the latter. Accepted into the Lyceum Club of France in February. From November to December, Blondelle exhibited with the New English Art Club at the Galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists. She also exhibited with the Society of American Women in London at the invitation of Mildred Hoover (daughter-in-law of Herbert Hoover).
1912 Blondelle spent a great deal of time painting gardens in England. From there, she traveled to Italy and Greece before she returned to France.
1913 Exhibited her works at the Lyceum Club and at the Salon de la Societe Internationale d'Aquarellistes (both in Paris). Accepted into the London Lyceum Club. Spent Christmas at Barbizon, France, at the home of Monsieur and Madame J. Francois Millet (the son and daughter-in-law of the French artist of the same name).
1914 In January Blondelle exhibited at the American Art Students' Club in Paris. In February, she exhibited at the Galerie Bontet de Monvel. William Nash, founder of the Corn Exchange Bank in New York, met with Blondelle in Paris. He purchased ten paintings and commissioned her to paint several more in Ireland.
1915 Blondelle's parents fell ill and traveled to a Chicago health facility to seek treatment. Mrs. Malone died on November 30th, and Blondelle returned from Ireland to Columbia, South Carolina. She would not return to Europe again.
Ca 1916 Blondelle purchased a home and set up a studio in Aiken, South Carolina.
Ca 1920-24 Moved to New York. Rented a studio in Carnegie Hall. Exhibited at the Women's University Club, Misses Hill Studio, Babcock Gallery, and in various smaller galleries throughout the state. Met art critics Mary Taft of the New York Times and Lula Merrick of the New York Post - both women became devoted sponsors and admirers of Blondelle. Taft dubbed Blondelle “the Garden Artist of America.”
1925 Blondelle hosted an exhibit of her Japanese paintings. She used the proceeds to purchase a radio for St. Luke's Hospital in Tokyo.
Ca 1926 Moved to Washington, DC. Sold the Gervais Street property. Rented a studio at the Wardman Park Hotel.
1930 Her father died as a result of injuries sustained when an automobile hit him as he crossed the street in Columbia on September 21st. Soon after her father's death, Blondelle moved to Alexandria, Virginia, and became involved in historic preservation activities. She maintained a studio address in the capital city at 1520 Wisconsin Avenue.
1933 Blondelle purchased and restored the Alexandria, Virginia, home of Dr. James Craik, surgeon general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and physician to George Washington.
Ca 1938 Blondelle purchased the Wayles House in Alexandria, Virginia. After restoring it, she used it as her studio.
1947 Moved to the George Mason Hotel in Alexandria. At seventy years old, she was a semi-invalid.
1951 Died on June 25th in a Columbia, South Carolina, nursing home. In her will, she left her papers to the South Caroliniana Library on the stipulation that her biography be written. In 1953, Louise Jones DuBose, former director of the University of South Carolina Press, wrote Enigma. Blondelle donated most of her artwork to the Columbia Museum of Art.



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