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Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971)
Jessie Arms Botke was born in Chicago in 1883, and it was there that she received her fine arts training at the Art Institute of Chicago. Following her studies she moved to New York in 1911 to work under the direction of Albert Herter, a renowned artist and owner of Herter Looms. With Herter, Botke worked on a mural project at the St. Francis Hotel. On a trip to Chicago in 191, Jessie met Cornelis Botke, whom she would the following year.
The Botkes moved to Carmel in 1919 and remained for several years. Following an extended painting trip to Europe, the couple settled on a ranch in Santa Paula in 1927, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. Painting from life the birds of their private aviary, Jessie Botke was renowned for her art deco style works. Drawing inspiration from Japanese screens, Botke frequently utilized gold leaf in her works, and these today are among the most highly sought of her works. Jessie Arms Botke also drew upon her earlier training, took many mural commissions in California to help supplement the family income. On these commissions, she was frequently assisted by her husband, Cornelis.
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