Margaret Stites (Woman with Closed Eyes)
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts Catalog
Accession no: 2005.2.3 Type of work: paint on paper
Artist/creator: Margaret Adele Stites
Variant forms of names: Margaret Stites
Born: November 8, 1910 Died: October 2, 2003
Title of work:Untitled (Woman with Closed Eyes)
Artist biography: Margaret Adele Stites was born in San Angelo, TX in 1910. Stites’ interest in art was evident from ayoung age and after graduating high school in 1928, the promising artist went on to complete herstudies at the University of Texas in Austin. While attending the university, Stites was accepted tostudy under teacher and mentor Charles Umlauf, whose influence is evident in her subsequent work.After receiving her Bachelor of Art in 1944, Stites moved back to her hometown of San Angelo,where she launched a new art program at San Angelo College, later named Angelo State University.Stites taught life-drawing and basic design classes at San Angelo College, eventually promoted to theHead of the Art department. In 1952, the artist left San Angelo to continue her education, studyingsculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago and then at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills,Michigan, receiving her Master of Fine Art in sculpture and ceramics in 1954. Following another 2-year tenure at San Angelo College, Stites took a teaching position at Ohio State University, where shestayed until 1958, leaving to study in the Mediterranean and Europe after receiving the Louis K.Tiffany Grant in sculpture Stites returned from her sojourn abroad deeply moved by the works she saw in places such as the Sistine Chapel and the Louvre. The artist’s inspiration for her colors, lines, and shapes are derived from both her experiences away and her childhood memories of her uncle’s ranch in Texas. From 1968-1969, Stites taught at Huston Tillotson College in Austin, TX while working on additional graduate work in painting at the University of Texas. Coming full circle, Stites returned to San Angelo to take care of her aging parents. After their deaths, she stayed, living in her childhood home and continuing to produce artwork. Stites’ first exhibition of her extensive body of work was not until September of 2003 at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. The 92-year-old artist passed away one month later on October 2, 2003.
Date of item: n.d.
Signed: On reverse in pencil, “Margaret Stites”
Dimensions: 21 5/8” x 14 ¾” (55.88 x 38.1 cm)
Description: Portrait of a woman (head and mid-torso) in a blue dress, brown hair and green earrings. Her eyes are closed. Background is also blue. Paint is very thick with obvious brush strokes.
Country of origin: U.S.
Condition: Overall good condition; dirty, needs cleaning
Conservation future: Needs cleaning.
Provenance: Donated by Claude Stites, Executor of the estate of Margaret Stites as a gift from the family ofMargaret Stites, August 27, 2004.
Donor information: Claude Stites
History of object: Donated by Claude Stites to SAMFA August 27, 2004. Accepted by SAMFA May 19, 2005
Credit line: Gift of the Family of Margaret Stites
Cataloger name: Karen Zimmerly
Date: August 2, 2005
Sources used: Museum file