Jessie Arms Botke, Sacred Cranes, Oil on Canvas, Circa 1930, 16″ x 13″
Jessie Arms Botke was born in Chicago in 1883. Her artistic studies began at the Art Institute of Chicago and continued afterward under J.C. Johansen and Charles Woodbury. In 1911 Jessie Arms Botke became employed by Albert Herter and assisted him with the mural he painted for the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco. It was here that Jessie Arms Botke formally connected with the subject matter that would dominate her work, as she was asked to execute all of the birds in the mural.
Jessie Arms Botke, Trees and Mountains, Woodblock, 5″ x 6″
While visiting Chicago in 1914, Jessie met a Dutch-born artist named Cornelis Botke whom she married in 1915. After twelve years of semi-nomadic existence, the Botkes finally settled in Wheeler Canyon in southern California, outside of Santa Paula. This would be her home until her death in 1971. It was here that her characteristic work was developed: bold, decorative paintings of exotic birds.
Jessie Arms Botke, Hopi Home Life, Oil on Canvas, c. 1907, 20″ x 29″
Jessie Arms Botke was a member of many organizations and won many awards both in Southern California and her native Chicago, where she continued to exhibit work. Jessie Arms Botke’s work can be seen in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Municipal Gallery, Chicago, Mills College, Oakland and the San Diego Museum. Murals painted by Jessie Arms Botke and her husband can also be seen at the headquarters of the I. Magnin Co. of Los Angeles, Woodrow Wilson High School in Oxnard, California, Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago and the Kellogg Factory in Battle Creek, MI.
Jessie Arms Botke, Flamingos, Oil on Canvas, Circa 1930, 11″ x 9″