Oil Painting

Nurtured by $1.00 prizes in local art contests in Normal, Illinois, class prophecies which promised fame, and an instructor at Illinois State University who encouraged her to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Eleanor Coen arrived in the city already a serious artist, a natural Bohemian, and too young and adventurous to be frightened by the Depression. In order to earn the money to study painting with the legendary teacher Boris Anisfeld, and printmaking with Francis Chapin and Max Kahn, she waited tables at Marshall Field's.

Eleanor Coen's painting spanned six decades: Depression era Chicago and 1939-1940 in the WPA; the SAIC Traveling Fellowship to Mexico City in 1941 where she was the first woman hired by the Taller de Grafica Popular (TGP); San Miguel de Allende where, at age 25, she painted a 25' high fresco mural on the wall of the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Arts; during the 1950's through the 1990's she continued painting in the studio of her and Max Kahn's Chicago house (a former blacksmith's shop), and in her studio in their house on Martha's Vineyard. Her work is timeless, her influence far reaching, and her admirers many.

"When you decide to enter the mood of a painting, you will exist in the space that she has created. You will walk through her unnamed streets, move over her skies and feel the energy with her creatures."