Open main menu

DONLEVY, Miss Alice, artist and writer on art, was born in Manchester, Eng. She is devoted ALICE DONLEVY.jpgALICE DONLEVY. to the work of bringing about the establishment of free art industrial education for the youth of this country. In this line of effort she has been conspicuous for years. Miss Donlevy came to the United States in her infancy. She early sh« >wed a talent for drawing, and at ten vears of age she exhibited water-color copies at the American Institute. At thirteen she was admitted to the School of Design through the influence of Horace Greeley and Mary Morris Hamilton. For seven years she devoted her attention to wood engraving for books and magazines, being one of the first workers in this art to introduce that original feature of American wood-engraving, the use of dots instead of lines for shades and shadows. Later her talent for form asserted itself so strongly that engraving was given up for designing for decoration Since childhood she has drawn with pen and ink for reproduction, her father, John J. Donlevy, having invented certain valuable reproductive processes, which naturally aroused her interest, drawing her to work beside him. Original work once entered upon, she exhibited, while still very young, in the Academy of Design, and won prizes for general attainments. She received a second prize awarded by the Philadelphia Sketch Club for illumination. Simultaneously with the development of her artistic talents grew her love for and knowledge of letters. At the age of fourteen she wrote for the press. In 1867 she published a book on "Illumination." making all the designs of its illustrations. Since that time she has written for the "Art Review " of Boston, the "Art Amateur." the "Art Interchange." "St Nicholas," " Harper's Young People." the " Ladies' World," "Demorest's Magazine " and the " Chautauquan," and is now the art editor of "Demorest's Magazine." In 1867 she was one of the nine professional women artists who founded the Ladies' Art Association of New York. The work of that association has been the art training of teachers for schools and seminaries and the opening of new avenues of art industrial employment of women. Among new professions for women established by the association was that of painting on porcelain. In 1887 she was one of the committee of three to go to Albany and lay before the legislature plans of free art industrial instruction for talented boys, girls and women, to be given during vacation seasons and on Saturday afternoons. The bill passed both houses. It was defeated later by eight votes when called up for reconsideration by Kay Hamilton, then one of the representatives from New York. She was prominent as an organizer ot the meeting of American women in Cooper Institute, in the autumn of 1890, to call upon the Czar of Russia for clemency in the case of Sophie Ciunzberg, condemmed to die in December, 1890. The meeting resulted in a commutation of the death sentence to banishment to Siberia. Probably the best work of Miss Donlevy has been the aid that she has given personally to promote the interests of struggling associations and individual artists by means of free lectures and free lessons, also by giving the latter introduction by means of public receptions at which their works were exhibited.