Frederic Clay Bartlett was born in Chicago in 1873. He is an artist from the Post-Impressionism and Modern Art art movements and, for a time, trained under fellow American artist James McNeill Whistler and French painter Pierre Puvis Chavannes in Paris.
In 1900, Frederic Clay Bartlett and his new wife, Dora Tripp, moved to Munich, where he continued his art studies. A few years later, they relocated to Chicago, and Bartlett opened his first Studio. His first commission was an oil painting portrait. However, his most famous oil painting is Blue Rafters 1916 which is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.
When Dora Bartlett died, Bartlett married her close friend Helen Louise Birch. The couple were the celebrities of the day. They were discerning and avid art collectors and acquired famous oil paintings by some of the greatest artists of the time. When Helen died after only six years of marriage, the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection was created at the Art Institute of Chicago. Today the collection includes oil paintings by artists such as Jules Pascin, and Paul Cezanne, several paintings by Vincent van Gogh, and others by Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani. However, the biggest crowds are visitors wishing to view A Sunday on la Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.
Frederic Clay Bartlett's third wife was Evelyn Fortune Lilly, a member of the Indianapolis Eli Lilly family, and El Lilly, the international pharmaceutical conglomerate.
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