Bluebonnets and Western Hills near Speedway Austin, Texas

  • Biography

    Janet Downie 1854-1944

    Downie, Janet.  1854-1944.  Austin, San Antonio.Painter, writer, teacher.
        Born and reared in Detroit, Downie moved to Austin in 1878.  She studied abroad in London and at the National Art Training-Schools, Liverpool, for several years.  She continued her training at the Art Institute of Chicago and under Charles F. Binns at the New York State School of Clay Working and Ceramics, Alfred (closed in 1931).  She attended various summer art schools:  New York State School, Art Institute of Chicago, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at Chester Springs, where she was a student of Hugh Henry Breckenridge.  In 1924 she studied with Sven Birger Sandzen at the Broadmoor Art Academy, Colorado Springs.
        After teaching in the 1890s at Hood's Seminary and Stuart Seminary, Austin, Downie was art supervisor for the Austin public schools (1906-16), then taught privately in Austin.  Her two sepia studies, Clytie and Lions's Head, hung for a number of years in the Main Library of the University of Texas.  She died in Dallas. She and Mary Downie were sister.
         Exhibitions:  San Antonio Art League (1894 medals); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1911); Elisabet Ney Museum, Austin (1916 one-woman); Annual Texas Artist Exhibition, Fort Worth (1925-33,1935); Edgar B. Davis Competition, San Antonio (1927); Guild of Austin Artist (1932);  Twentieth-Century Women in Texas Art, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin (1974); Women Artist of Texas 1850-1950, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon (1993); Dallas Woman's Forum.
         Collections: Texas Fine Arts Association.
         Affiliations: Guild of Austin Artists; San Antonio Art League; Southern States Art League; Texas Fine Arts Association.