Gallery Artists > Ila Mae McAfee Biography :

Ila Mae McAfee (1897 - 1995)  Artworks >>

Ila Mae McAfee was born 1897 in the small ranching community of Sargents in southwestern Colorado near Gunnison. She died in 1995 in Pueblo, Colorado, where she moved after leaving her adobe home in Taos, New Mexico in late summer 1993. She was raised on her family's ranch south of Gunnison, and attended Logan County School, riding ten miles each way to school. In 1916, she graduated from Gunnison High School and then spent time in Los Angeles at the West Lake School of Art and the Haz Art School (1917-1918). Returning to Colorado, she studied art with Catherine and Henry Ricter at Western State College where she earned a BA degree in 1919. The next year she went to Chicago and became a student of muralist James E McBurney and served as his assistant until 1924. During this time, she was also influenced by sculptor Lorado Taft. In 1925, she attended in New York the National Academy of Design, and 1926, the Art Students League. She also worked as an illustrator and painter of miniature animals during this period. In 1926, McAfee married Elmer Page Turner, an artist whom she had met on her parent's Colorado ranch, and that same year she visited Taos, New Mexico. Two years later, she and her husband settled there, and in 1929, they built the White Horse Studio, which continued to be her residence until 1993, when she moved to Pueblo, Colorado. In Taos, she became known for her pueblo paintings and her depictions of horses and other animals as well as Native Americans, ranch scenes, and landscapes. In 1981, she was voted Taos Artist of the Year. She also worked as a WPA artist, completing many commissions for post office locations such as Edmond, Oklahoma, and Clifton, Texas. Reference: askart.com

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