Juliette Steele Biography

Juliette Steele

American

1909-1980

Biography

Juliette Steele, printmaker, painter, and teacher, was born Julia Eleanor Wilm on July 21, 1909, in Union City, New Jersey. She was raised in New Jersey and attended the Dickenson High school in Jersey City. She studied art and fashion design at the Traphagen School of Design in New York during the late 1920s. She married John Dodig and the couple had a son, Gerald, but later divorced. Wilm married Edward Steele in Reno, Nevada in 1939 and the couple moved to San Francisco and by this time Julia changed her first name to Juliette. She enrolled in the San Francisco State College where she earned her Bachelor of Art degree.

In the 1940s Steele produced a series of lithographs depicting San Francisco landmarks and she may have printed with Ray Bertrand although no records have been located to definitely link her with the California WPA Federal Art Project. Also in the 1940s Steele earned her Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University and continued her studies at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco where she studied with Ray Bertrand and Clay Spohn. Steels also studied with Stanley William Hayter during the summer of 1948 and learned the process of intaglio printmaking. The following year Steele taught printmaking at the California School of Fine Arts.

Steele first exhibited with the San Francisco Art Association in 1945 and was represented by her lithograph Fisherman’s Wharf in the Ninth Annual Exhibition of Drawings and Prints. She exhibited in the annual exhibitions through 1948. In 1948, she exhibited two abstract surrealist lithographs Cyclonic Night and Fire Dance. Her first solo exhibition was mounted at the Artists Guild Gallery in San Francisco in 1947 and the following year an exhibition of her prints was featured at the Weyhe Gallery in New York.

She was a member of the San Francisco Art Association, the San Francisco Society of Women Artists, and the Laguna Beach Art Association. She served president of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists in 1949 and 1950.

Steele and her husband were residents of San Rafael, California in the mid 1950s where they operated Steele’s Patio Shop. Juliette Eleanor Wilm Steele died on 4 March 1980 in San Rafael, California.

 

Info:

Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960, The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints, and the catalogues of the San Francisco Art Association.