The University of Tennessee Libraries has created a digital collection of drawings by artist Catherine Wiley, a notable American Impressionist painter of the early 20th century.
Anna Catherine Wiley (1879–1958) was born in Coal Creek, Tennessee, and moved to Knoxville at age three. Her family lived on White Avenue, close to the site of UT’s James D. Hoskins Library. Her brother Edwin M. Wiley was the first salaried librarian at UT, serving in that position from 1891 to 1899.
Wiley enrolled at UT in 1895, only a few years after women were first admitted to the institution on an equal footing with men. Following her studies at UT, Wiley left Knoxville for New York, where she trained at the Art Students League and the New York School of Art. She spent several summers in New England studying with the Impressionist painter Robert Reid and painting in the company of some of the foremost artists of her day. During her career, her work was exhibited in major galleries across the country and won numerous awards at regional exhibitions.
Wiley returned to Knoxville to teach freehand drawing at UT from 1905 to 1918. She quickly became a leader in the area’s art community. During her tenure as an art instructor, she drew many illustrations for The Volunteer, the university’s yearbook.
The UT Libraries digital collection comprises more than 150 of Wiley’s early works, illustrating her development as an artist. The pieces include figure drawings, pencil sketches, and bookplate designs, as well as her pen-and-ink illustrations for The Volunteer.
Martha Rudolph, UT Libraries Marketing and Communication (865-974-4273, email@example.com)
Laura Romans, UT Libraries Special Collections (865-974-6503, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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