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Allender, Nina (25 Dec. 1872–2 Apr. 1957), artist and women’s rights activist, was born Nina Evans in Auburn, Kansas to David J. Evans and Eva S. (Moore) Evans. Her father was a schoolteacher who later became a superintendent of schools; her mother had started teaching school in Kansas at the age of sixteen. Eva Evans grew dissatisfied with the marriage and took the highly unusual step of leaving her husband and moving with Nina and her younger sister, Kate, to Washington, D.C., where in ...

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Nina Allender, by unknown photographer

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA [LC-B2- 3956-3]

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Alan Bean, 1971, unknown photographer

courtesy of NASA

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Bean, Alan (15 Mar. 1932–26 May 2018), astronaut and artist, was born Alan LaVern Bean in Wheeler, Texas, the son of Frances Caroline (Murphy) Bean and Arnold Horace Bean, a scientist who worked for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Arnold Bean served in World War II, and his son became fascinated at an early age with combat aircraft. He made model airplanes out of balsa wood, carefully painted them, and hung them by wires from his bedroom ceiling....

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Chamberlain, Samuel V. (28 Oct. 1895–10 Jan. 1975), graphic artist, photographer, and gourmet food writer, was born Samuel Vance Chamberlain in Cresco, Iowa, the son of Dr. George Ellsworth Chamberlain, a surgeon, and Cora Lee Summers. In 1901 the family moved to Aberdeen, Washington, where Chamberlain undertook his early education. In ...

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De Cora, Angel (1868 or 1869–6 Feb. 1919), artist and educator, was born in northeast Nebraska on the Winnebago Indian reservation to David Decora (Hagarsarechkaw), son of Winnebago chief Little Decora, and Elizabeth Lamere, daughter of a French Canadian fur trader and a Winnebago Metis woman. (De Cora is sometimes spelled DeCora or Decora.) Angel’s earliest education occurred at the reservation boarding school, and in ...

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Krummeck, Elsie Caroline (5 Dec. 1913–29 May 1999), artist and industrial designer, was born in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrants Karl Krummeck, a sign painter, and Katharina Friederich, a practical nurse. At a young age she demonstrated exceptional talent as an illustrator, and with encouragement from her parents she enrolled in art classes at Pratt Institute, the Art Students League of New York, and the National Academy Museum and School. Her peripatetic academic training ended with a year of study (...

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Martin, Maria (6 July 1796–27 Dec. 1863), natural history artist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the youngest of four daughters born to John Jacob Martin, the son of an itinerant lay Lutheran pastor whose patriotism during the Revolutionary War had earned the regard of Carolinians, and Rebecca Martin, a twice-widowed successful businesswoman. Income from her mother’s dressmaking shop and the respectability associated with her grandfather’s reputation gave Maria Martin a privileged childhood. Additionally, because Lutheranism required a literate laity, Maria and her sisters were well-educated....

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Montoya, José Ernesto (28 May 1932–25 Sept. 2013), poet, visual artist, and activist was born in Escobosa, near Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of Malaquías Montoya and Lucia Montoya. In 1941 Malaquías Montoya decided to move his family to California’s Central Valley, and they arrived in Fowler, California. As a boy José Montoya picked grapes with his family in Delano and Fowler, in the blistering Central Valley heat during the Great Depression era. Malaquías and Lucia separated in ...

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Parsons, Betty (31 January 1900–23 July 1982), artist, art dealer and collector, was born Elizabeth Bierne Pierson in New York City, the second daughter of three born to Suzanne Miles, a sugar heiress, and J. Fred Pierson, Jr., a businessman. She described her ancestry as “very American,” with intellectuals and prominent political figures on her father’s side and Southern plantation aristocracy on her mother’s, and her upbringing was typical of her social class. She and her two sisters divided their time between family homes in New York City, Newport, Rhode Island, and Palm Beach, Florida, and were often left in the care of servants by absent parents. Betty (as she was known) was an unremarkable student at Miss Chapin’s School for girls, which she began attending in 1910, and didn’t show a special aptitude for art at this early age....

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Wojnarowicz, David (14 Sept. 1954–22 July 1992), artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, the third child of Edward Wojnarowicz, a merchant seamen from Michigan, and Dolores McGuinness, a receptionist from Australia. Wojnarowicz’s childhood was marred by violence and instability. Following his parents’ divorce at the age of three, Wojnarowicz and his two older siblings, Pat and Steven, were placed in a boarding home by their mother in ...