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Coreen Mary SpellmanCoreen Mary Spellman was born in 1905 in Forney, TX. She received her BS from TSCW in 1925, her MA from Columbia University in 1926 and later earned her MFA from the University of Iowa in 1942. She also studied at the Art Student's League, New York City; Belles Artes, Mexico City; and Harvard University as well as participating in watercolor workshops with Charles Martin and Elliot O'Hara and other printmaking and watercolor teachers.

In 1929, Spellman returned to TSCW to teach, where she taught watercolor, printmaking, life drawing, and design for 45 years.

The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts mounted her first solo exhibition in 1932. Her work is represented in collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Joslyn Museum, Omaha NE; Dallas Museum of Art; Southern Methodist University; the San Antonio Museum and others. Exhibitions included Prints Between Two Wars (Whitney Museum), Kansas City Midwestern, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Rockefeller National Art Show, American Artists Congress, Associated American Artists, the Corcoran Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum's First National Print Competition, and the Library of Congress.

Her work included oil and watercolor paintings, but she was most noted for her prints. She won prizes in many competitive exhibitions including for the print Dispossessed, a print depicting the aftermath of a tornado with swirling debris in an abstract pattern and two grieving women in what remains of their house. Her print titled Nude was selected as one of 50 best prints of the year in 1932. In 1935, the American Artists Congress included one of her mezzotints in an exhibition of contemporary American prints.

Spellman was one of eight founding members of the Printmakers Guild, which evolved later into the Texas Printmakers. This was originally an all-women group organized in 1939 to give female printmakers an opportunity to show and sell their work.

Spellman produced a large body of work and taught thousands of students. In addition to teaching, she lectured, illustrated books and pamphlets, and traveled extensively both in the US and abroad. One of her murals can be seen locally on the exterior of the Arts and Sciences Building at TWU.

Coreen Spellman retired from teaching in 1974 and died in 1978. Reflecting on Ms. Spellman as a teacher and person, local artist Dorothy Bertine remembers Spellman as warm and friendly - a teacher who genuinely cared about her students.

References: Dorothy Bertine, Denton, TX
Jackie MacLelland, Coreen Mary Spellman: Stimulus for Art to the Southwest, 1991
Mick Spellman and Sandra Kirk, Coreen Mary Spellman, 1905-1978, 1993
Nita Thurman, "TWU graduate becomes world-renowned artist",
Denton Record Chronicle, Nov. 30, 2005

Dispossessed
Dispossessed
, 1946
lithograph
Courtesy of Dorothy Bertine

A Group of Houses
A Group of Houses, 1936
watercolor
Courtesy of Dorothy Bertine

page last updated 7/13/2017 3:24 PM