JESSIE ARMS BOTKE Biography

Jessie Arms Botke was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 27, 1883. After graduating high school, she received a scholarship to attend Chicago University but was persuaded by her mother to attend the Chicago Art Institute instead.  Jessie Arms Botke began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and continued with artists J.C. Johansen and Charles Woodbury.  Enjoying working in decorative arts, Botke worked for several interior design studios and having seen Albert Herter’s works, she decided to study with him. In 1911, she obtained employment with Herter Looms in New York City and assisted Herter with the mural in the St. Francis Hotel.  

Upon returning to Chicago in 1915, she married Cornelis Botke. Together, the Botkes worked on a project commissioned for the Ida Noyes Hall at the Chicago University. Having visited California the previous year, the Botkes decided to move to Carmel, California in 1919.  After an extended trip to Europe, in 1927, they settled on a ranch in Santa Paula, California where she remained until her death on October 2, 1971.  Jessie Arms Botke made a career of bold, decorative paintings of birds both in oil and watercolor, and often used gold leaf in her paintings.  From about 1917 her work won many awards both in Chicago and Southern California.

Member: California Art Club; California Watercolor Society; Carmel Art Association; Chicago Society of Etchers; National Association of Women Artists.  

Exhibited: Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, 1918, 1926; Friday Morning Club, Los Angeles, California, 1921;  Paris Salon, France, 1924; Art Institute of Chicago, 1926; National Academy of Design, New York; Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Pacific Southwest Exposition, Long Beach, 1928; Springville High School, Utah, 1928; Los Angeles County Fair, 1934, 1938; California State Fair, 1934, 1940; Chicago Society for Sanity in Art, 1938; Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, 1939; Ventura County Historical Museum, 1984.  

Works held: Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania: Municipal Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; Mills College, Oakland, California; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; San Diego Museum of Art, California.

Murals: I. Magnin, Los Angeles; Kellogg Factory, Battle Creek, Missouri; Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, Illinois; Union League Club, Chicago, Illinois; Woodrow Wilson High School, Oxnard, California.

Source:
Artists in California: 1786-1940 by Edan Milton Hughes
Botke-McComas-Seidneck by Carmel Art Association