Known primarily for teaching art to Southwest Native American children and painting Native American portraits and genre, Olive Rush encouraged Native American pride in their own traditions at a time when white culture was moving aggressively into New Mexico and Arizona. She was the first woman to be given a one-woman exhibition in New Mexico. Her career was expansive, both in geography and style. She lived the first part of her life on the East Coast and her later years in the Southwest and her work, including illustration, ranged from traditional to cubist and expressionist. She was born in Fairmount, Indiana, to a Quaker family and enrolled at the Friends Academy before moving at age 17 to Washington D.C. There she studied at the Corcoran School of Art. By 1898 she was a professional magazine illustrator and studied at the Art Students League in New York with John Twachtman. In 1904 she went to Wilmington, Delaware to study illustration with Howard Pyle and she also created mural painting. In Paris she studied at the Richard Miller Class for Painters. In 1914, at the age of 41, she first went to the Southwest and in 1921 settled in Santa Fe, becoming one of the first eastern artists to move there.
Brown County Art Colony
The Brown County Art Colony was formed in the early 1900s by artists who were attracted by the undisturbed picturesque landscape known as Peaceful Valley. T.C. Steele was the first to become a resident of the county when he purchased 200 acres near Belmont. Adolph Shulz is considered to be the founder of the Brown County Art Colony. He began visiting Brown County in 1908 and in 1917 became a permanent resident. Both Adolph Shulz and T.C. Steele influenced other artists and many began building cabins and moving to the area. Will Vawter and Gustave Baumann were among the first to make Brown County their home. Other artists such as Charles Dahlgreen, Lucie Hartrath, and L.O. Griffith came from Chicago and by the early 1930s there were at least eighteen artists with permanent homes in Brown County. Artists such as C. Curry Bohm, Edward K. Williams, Ada Walter Shulz, Carl Graf, V.J. Cariani, Gustav Baumann, Will Vawter, Dale Bessire, Georges LaChance, Marie Goth, Leota Loop, Adam Emory Albright, Olive Rush, and Alexis Fournier flourished and created the Brown County Art Colony nearly 100 years ago.
Letsinger-Miller, Lyn. The Artists of Brown County. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
Nesbit, M. Joanne, ed., Barbara Judd, comp. Those Brown County Artists: The Ones Who Came the Ones Who Stayed the Ones Who Moved On. Nashville: Nana’s Book, 1993.
WE BUY AND SELL PAINTINGS BY
We are very interested in purchasing Olive Rush paintings.
Please give us a call or send an e-mail.
We also buy paintings from the following Brown County artists: