Jessie Drew-Bear artist

The Woodmere Museum in Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) currently
has an exhibition of works by Jessie Drew-Bear (1879-1962).  She was
primarily a self-taught artist who started painting at age 59 with a set
of paints given to her by her daughter.

O’Half and I have three paintings by Jessie Drew-Bear, too, that we
would like to share with you.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Jessie Drew-Bear lived initially in Philadelphia where she had a flower
shop, and then moved to New Hope PA.  Many of her paintings
feature flowers in various settings.

This first one we’ve had a long time and though a “simple” floral still life,
it has about two pounds worth of paint on it!

floral still life by Jessie Drew-Bear 24" x 20" framed

floral still life by Jessie Drew-Bear 24″ x 20″ framed ©booksandbuttons

Next is a local Bucks County scene–of the La Bonne Auberge restaurant
in New Hope, PA titled, “la table hors d’oeuvres.”   It was a lovely French
restaurant that we visited a few times in the old days before we moved to
St. Louis.  Again, note the rich colors used.  The painting was probably done
in the 1950s.  I think the frame is interesting.  I assume she did the work–
the hacking away at the wood, then dabbing on some gilt paint . . .

"table of hors doeuvres" by Jessie Drew-Bear at Bonne Auberge, New Hope, PA  16" x 20" framed ©booksandbuttons

“table of hors doeuvres” by Jessie Drew-Bear at Bonne Auberge, New Hope, PA 16″ x 20″ framed ©booksandbuttons

Jessie Drew-Bear framework

The restaurant has since closed—as a result of this painting.
No! No! Just kidding.  The restaurant was open for over 37
years and won many awards.  But it closed in 2009.

We acquired the last Jessie Drew-Bear recently and it is of a
flower market in Paris at Place de la Madeleine.  Since Drew-Bear
ran a florist shop in Philadelphia for many years,  I’ll bet she loved
visiting flower markets when she traveled.

flower market at Place de la Madeleine Paris by Jessie Drew-Bear 1951 17.5" x 21.5" framed ©booksandbuttons

flower market at Place de la Madeleine Paris by Jessie Drew-Bear 1951 17.5″ x 21.5″ framed ©booksandbuttons

Jessie Drew-Bear was certainly an enthusiastic painter and her work
might be considered naive folk art, though she resisted those terms.
The flower market painting seems naive to me, but compare
it to some of the floral work of Maurice Prendergast . . . interesting.
What do you think?

We haven’t visited the exhibit yet, but will—we always enjoy the visits to
this unique little gem of a museum–with lunch afterwards at a nearby
informal restaurant.  Google the Woodmere for more information about this
current exhibit of Jessie Drew-Bear which runs through July 13th.

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6 Responses to Jessie Drew-Bear artist

  1. FictionFan says:

    Lovely – I’m a fan of bold colours and simple subjects. These would be great as needlepoint/cross-stitch patterns – I wonder if they’ve ever been converted by anyone…

  2. Mary Jo says:

    agree! My favorite is the kitchen scene — so much detail and fabulous color. Can really see that in needlework. Looked up the Woodmere – lovely place and their website a very nice learning experience. Inspiring!

    • booksandbuttons says:

      Hi Mary Jo! Yes, needlework is the answer for the works
      of Jessie Drew-Bear!
      I’m glad you explored the Woodmere, too–it’s a pleasant
      little place featuring local Philadelphia artists primarily.
      Gift shop, too!

  3. Stefanie says:

    Wow, those are beautiful! I love the use of color. I am a sucker for bold color choices in painting.

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