Flora Blanc Reeder
Flora Blanc Reeder (American, 1916-1995)
Flora Blanc Reeder was an American painter who was a member of the Fort Worth Circle, a group of artists in Fort Worth, Texas, active in the 1940s and 1950s. The daughter of Edward Blanc and Martha Elliot King, Flora Blanc was born in New York in 1916. She received her formal art training at New York's Art Students' League as well as the elite Brearley School, and in France, where she met Edward Dickson Reeder, a young artist from Fort Worth. The two went on to pursue their talents in New York and Paris, and studied under Stanley William Hayter. Blanc and Reeder married in New York in December 1937, and in 1940 the couple moved to Fort Worth, where Blanc painted and conducted acting classes for the Our Lady of Victory College. Blanc and Dickson performed with the Little Theater and forged close friendships with other local artists, eventually leading to the formation of the Fort Worth Circle, who would congregate at the Reeders' home on a regular basis to discuss their practices and engage in exchanges. In the spring of 1945, Blanc enrolled in a TCU course that explored multi-disciplinary in the arts, taught by Lorraine Sherley. For the course's final assignment, Blanc produced the play Aucassin and Nicolette, with a cast of twenty children from the neighborhood. Dickson designed the sets, the artist Bror Utter designed the lighting, and Brooks Morris, Jr., conducted the score. This production led for the opening of the Reeder-Irwin School in August 1945, with a student body of thirty-five kids and Ike Horowitz serving as first board chairman. Zane Irwin taught dance and other instructors, including Blanc, taught drama, painting, and music. Tuition was levied through instruction/enrolment trades. The school changed its name to the Reeder Children's School of Theater and Design in 1948, and adopted a curriculum that was similar to New York's King-Coit School which Blanc attended in her youth. The Reeder school closed in 1958, after staging an additional thirteen plays, in order to provide the artist couple more time to focus on their respective practices.
Blanc died in 1995 in Fort Worth. Her brother was artist Peter Blanc. Career Highlights B: New York, City. D: Fort Worth. Painter, printmaker, teacher. Fort Worth. Studied: Art Students League of New York; William von Schlegel; Yasuo Kuniyoshi; Femand Leger; Stanley William Hayter in Paris; George Rouault; George Grosz; Grosz-Stern School, New York; Leon Kroll. Member: Texas Artists Group; Fort Worth Art Association; The Eight. Selected Exhibitions The Studios, Fort Worth (joint with Dickson Reeder); Texas-Oklahoma General Exhibition, 1941, Accident on the Beach; Six Texas Painters, Weythe Gallery, New York, 1944; Texas General/Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, 1941, The Uninteresting Letter, 1944, The Listeners, 1945, Portrait-Bill, 1948, Undersea, Owl (etchings); Fort Worth Local Artists Exhibition, 1941, 1943, 1944, Lady With the Diabolicale, Innocent Birds, Portrait-Bill Bomar, 1945, Bucolic Frivolities (honorable mention), 1947, 1948; Texas Print Exhibition, Dallas, 1945, Crustacean Eulogy (engraving and soft ground); Fort Worth Public Library Print Exhibition, 1945, Wings of Icarus, Dancers, Snakes, Crustacean Eulogy, The Persistency of Sound, The Dreamers; Texas Artists Group, 1945, Citadel of Learning, Composition; The Eight, Scott Hall, Dallas, 1946, Wings of Icarus (print); Beyond Regionalism: The Fort Worth School, 1945-1955, Old Jail Art Center, Albany 1986; Prints of the Fort Worth Circle: 1940-1960, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, 1992; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Contemporary Arts Museum, New York. Permanent Collections · Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX · National Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.