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Paulette Van Roekens   Click Images to Enlarge

Paulette Van Roekens
Behind the Stage, At the Ballet
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 in.
Paulette Van Roekens

(American, 1896-1988)

VanRoekens was born Victorine Jeanne in Chateau-Thierry, France, January 1, 1896. She studied in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Samuel Murray, Leopold G. Seyffert, Joseph Pearson, Henry B. Snell and Charles Grafly; sculpture at the Graphic Sketch Club of Philadelphia and at the Philadelphia School of Art for Women (now the Moore College of Art) where she became a Professor of drawing and painting (1923-1961) and earned an LHD in 1941 from Moore College of Art.

VanRoekens was an active, enthusiastic artist who participated in exhibitions throughout the U.S. Her awards include Plastic Club (gold, 1920); Philadelphia Sketch Club (gold medal, 1923); Fellowship Prize, PAFA; National Association of Women Painters & Sculptors, 1923; Woodmere Art Gallery (1956, 1965). Her memberships include, Woodmere AA; Art Alliance of America; Philadelphia Plastic Club and Graphic Sketch Club; National Association of Women Painters & Sculptors, PAFA Fellow.

Van Roekens was given many solo exhibitions including those at the Women's City Club (1939); Newport AA (1920,1921, 1950); McClees Gallery, Pittsburgh (1946); Philadelphia Art Alliance (1951); Moore Institute of Art (retrospective 1961, Memorial Exhibition 1988); Pierce Galleries, Inc., Hingham, MA 1986; Goffman Gallery, NY and PA, 1987. Her work is represented at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Academy of Design; Art Institute of Chicago; Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Detroit Institute of Art; Newport AA, RI.

The artist married fellow artist Arthur Meltzer in 1927. They had a son Davis Paul and a daughter Joanne (Craul). Together the artists traveled throughout the United States and Europe painting outdoors. They bought a home outside Philadelphia where each had a studio and often painted streets and villages in New York City. Paulette became best known for activist paintings of women marching for their rights, park and beach scenes and theatre and ballet views. She called herself a "sometimes Impressionist," because her devotion to academic drawing always was present, even when she attempted to broaden her stroke and become "a looser painter."

VanRoekens painted until the year she died and Meltzer died a few years later in their Pennsylvania home.


References: Who Was Who in American Art; "Who's Who in American Art," American Art Annuals (1930, 1942)