Alice Bolam Preston
Alice Bolam Preston (1888–1958) lived in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Determined to pursue a career in art, she attended the Massachusetts School of Art (today the Massachusetts College of Art and Design). Preston is one of the numerous professional women artists who worked in the 1910s and 1920s but remains relatively unknown. Her work is characterized by crisp linework, meticulous detailing, and jewel like colors. Her subjects range from fantasy and fairies to anthropomorphized animals and quiet domestic scenes of mothers and children. In addition to 11 children’s books, Preston illustrated several covers for House Beautiful and Vogue magazines.
The Museum has nearly 300 artworks by Preston. Collectors Kendra and Allan Daniel discovered a trove of Preston drawings at the Brimfield Antiques Show, which they purchased and later donated to The Carle. Says Kendra, “It seemed a matter of rescue to purchase this archive and see that Preston’s work was properly preserved among that of her fellow illustrators.” The Carle presented the exhibition A Genteel Tradition: The Art of Alice Bolam Preston in 2015. [link to exhibition]
Determined to pursue a career in art, Preston attended the Massachusetts School of Art (today the Massachusetts College of Art and Design). She studied design with Vesper L. George, who ran an art school in Boston, and interior decoration with Amy L. Sacker.