About Artist: Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American visual artist, who was particularly well known for oil painting and for her portraits depicting friends, family, lovers, poets, artists and strangers. Her paintings are notable for their expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity. Neel was called "one of the greatest portrait artists of the 20th century" by Barry Walker, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which organized a retrospective of her work in 2010.Alice Neel was born on January 28, 1900,in Merion Square, Pennsylvania to George Washington Neel, an accountant for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Alice Concross Hartley Neel. In mid-1900, her family moved to the rural town of Colwyn, Pennsylvania. She was the third of four children. She was raised into a straight-laced middle-class family during a time when there were limited expectations and opportunities for women. Her mother had said to her, "I don't know what you expect to do in the world, you're only a girl.In 1918, after graduating High School, she took the Civil Service exam and got a high-paying clerical position in order to help support her parents.After three years of work, taking art classes by night in Philadelphia, Neel enrolled in the Fine Art program at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art) in 1921.She graduated in 1925.Neel often said that she chose to attend an all-girls school so as not to be distracted from her art by the temptations of the opposite sex.
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