Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Eva Dean

Eva Ellen Dean was born on September 17, 1871, in Storm Lake, Iowa, according to Who’s Who in American Art (1953), Who Was Who in American Art (1985) and An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West (1998

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Dean was the oldest of two children born to Joseph, a banker, and Augusta. They lived in Storm Lake on Cayuga Street. They were Storm Lake residents in the 1885 Iowa state census. Sometime after the state census, Dean’s family moved to Sioux City, Iowa.

Dean attended Buchtel College that later became the University of Akron. Dean was a burn victim in a fire at the school. The news of the fiery event was reported in many newspapers including the San Francisco Call, Newark Daily Advocate, and Indianapolis NewsFifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County (1892) said Dean and several schoolmates were celebrating birthdays on December 13, 1890 in Cary Hall. A dancing woman’s headdress caught fire from a gas light and was quickly engulfed in flames. Other dancers’ costumes also caught fire. The severity of Dean’s injury is not known. The Akron Beacon Journal, March 7, 1891, said “Miss Eva Dean, ’93, is attending classes for the first time since the calamity. ”

Dean was a student in the 1892 Sioux City directory. She lived with her parents at 414 14th Street. Her father was treasurer of the Ballou Banking Company.

The Key, April 1893, listed Dean as a corresponding secretary of Lambda at Buchtel College (see last page).

Fifty Years of Buchtel, 1870–1920 (1922), listed Dean in the Class of 1894. 
EWAAW said Dean earned a Bachelor of Science degree.

The 1897 Sioux City directory had Dean family members at 1632 Pearl Street. Dean was an artist while her brother, Origen, worked for their father, a partner in Dean & Frost that handled bonds, mortgage loans, real estate and insurance.

EWAAW said Dean studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1897 and 1899. American Art Annual 1898 (1899) had this entry: “Dean, Eva (ceramics), Sioux City, Iowa.” The same entry appeared in American Art Annual, 1900–1901.

Dean was counted twice in the 1900 census. The artist was listed with her parents in Sioux City at 1632 Pearl Street. In Chicago, Dean was rooming at 3726 Ellis Avenue. EWAAW said Dean studied at the Chicago School of Illustration from 1900 to 1901, then at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1902 to 1903, and privately with Robert Rascovich. When Dean was home in Sioux City, she taught drawing from 1899 to 1905.

The Muse, April 1903, wrote about “the second annual loan and sale exhibition of the newspaper artists of Chicago at the Art Institute”. Dean’s work, for an unidentified newspaper, was included.

The Artists Year Book (1905) said Dean’s Sioux City home address was 1632 Pearl Street.

Iowa Artists of the First Hundred Years (1939; IAFHY) said Dean moved, in 1905, to New
York City where she was a member of the en and Brush Club. EWAAW said she studied at the Art Students League.

Dean’s In Peanut Land ran in the New York Herald from February to August 1907. They were collected and published in the 1907 book, In Peanut Land. The series continued in The Delineator magazine in 1908 on January, March, April, MayJune, July, August, December and April 1910. The New York Tribune, July 18, 1909, printed one of Dean’s Peanut pieces.
Books illustrated by Dean include In the Misty Realm of Fable (1900), In Peanut Land (1907), Daddy Takes Us to the Garden (1914), Bedtime Rhymes (1915), Bylow Bunnies and Bylow Squirrel Boys (1915), Daddy Takes Us Hunting Birds (1916), Daddy Takes Us to the Woods (1917), Bumper, the White Rabbit, and His Enemies (1917), Daddy Takes Us to the Farm and Daddy Takes Us to the Garden (1918). 

Dean’s art and writings appeared in many publications including the Spokane Press, The Tacoma Times, Iowa State Bystander, Woman’s Home Companion, and The Day Book.

According to EWAAW, Dean studied art privately with Alexander T. Van Lear. From 1907 to 1911, Dean took postgraduate classes in English at Columbia University. Dean was as an interior decorator from 1910 to 1917, and taught art and drawing in evening schools from 1912 to 1916.

Photography by Dean was not mentioned by EWAAW. The Craftsman, May 1910, published “Photographing Without a Camera” by an “Eva Dean”.

Dean was counted in the 1915 state censuses of Iowa, in Sioux City, and New York, in Manhattan at 36 East 29th Street.

IAFHY said Dean moved to Sioux City, in 1918, to care for her parents. Her mother passed away February 13, 1919.

In the 1920 census, Dean, her father and four roomers lived at 1700 Grand View Boulevard in Sioux City. Dean was a newspaper telegrapher and her father a real estate agent. The 1920 Sioux City directory said Dean was a writer for the Sioux City Tribune.

Two months after the census enumeration, Dean’s father passed away March 13, 1920.

The Bankers Magazine, July 1920, covered the Annual Convention of the Financial Advertisers’ Association. Dean spoke on how the National Bank of Commerce of Sioux City lined up the farmers. Associated Advertising, September 1920, published a list of the Women Members Financial Advertisers’ Association that included Dean.

In the 1922 Sioux City directory, Dean was an editorial writer for the Tribune and remained at 1700 Grand View Boulevard.

In 1926, Dean made her first visit to Europe. A passenger list said she departed aboard the S.S. Leviathan from Southampton, England on August 10, 1926. Dean arrived in New York City on the 16th. Her address was 601 South Rampart Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Dean’s next visit was two years later. She departed on the same steamship and port on August 14, 1928. On the 20th Dean arrived in New York City. Her Los Angeles address was the same.

EWAAW said Dean taught at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1928 to 1930.

According to the 1930 census, Dean was in her brother’s household. He was a real estate broker and married with an adult son and daughter. They lived at 1630 Douglas Street in Sioux City. Dean was teaching at the college.

Who’s Who in American Art, Volume 1, 1936–1937 (1935) had these addresses for Dead, “Dean, Eva, 512 So. Rampart Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.; h. 1812 Jackson St., Sioux City, Ia.”

IAFHY said Dean’s addresses were 1812 Jackson Street, Sioux City, Iowa and 471 South Coronado Street, Los Angeles, California. She was quoted as saying, “Climatic conditions make it necessary that I spend most of my time in the West, but I never fail to vote in Iowa.”

In the 1940 census, Los Angeles was Dean’s home at 571 South Coronado Street.

IAFHY said Dean was a member of the California Water Color Club, the League of American Pen Women and Women Painters of the West. According to EWAAW, Dean’s work was exhibited at the Laguna Beach Art Association; the California Watercolor Society; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Artists’ Fiesta in Los Angeles; the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix; the California State Fair in Sacramento; the Santa Cruz Art League; and Women Painters of the West and Artists of the Southwest, both in Los Angeles. Dean’s one-person exhibitions in 1933 took place at the Arizona Inn in Tucson, and the Mission Inn in Riverside, California. Who’s Who in American Art (1953) said Dean was a member of the Society for Sanity in Art which her work in its exhibitions in Los Angeles and Chicago in 1941, and San Francisco in 1940 and 1945.

Dean passed away May 1, 1954, in Los Angeles, California. She was laid to rest at Storm Lake Cemetery.

* The School of Illustration was started by Frank Holme who may have been one of Dean’s teachers. Due to poor health, Holme moved to Arizona in 1902. Holme passed away in 1904. In 1930 Dean donated material about Holme to the Arizona Historical Society
In Arizona Highways, January 1968, an article about Holme printed what Dean said of him: 
“Of him personally, there are only flashing visions left. The first one always called up by mention of him is the tall slender figure in black, with his overcoat flying loose . . . always striding somewhere, coat fluttering back, brimmed soft hat a little on one side; his companion invariably a bit behind him. Then memory seems to arrive and look at one out of soft, brown, deepening eyes. There was no sparkle in them—just shadows, and thought, and kindness. The dark brown hair never shone, but was always soft and fluffy. That thin underlip had a habit of dropping in stress or concentration of any kind.”
Rochester Institute of Technology has material related to Dean.

—Alex Jay


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