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Florence Ellen Ware
(Salt Lake City, Utah, 1891 - 1971, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Born May 6, 1891, in Salt Lake City, Florence Ware was the only child of a successful architect. She was provided with the finest education then available, learning music, art, and ballet from private tutors. From a very early age she exhibited exceptional artistic skill.
Florence Ware's entire adult life was consumed with art training, producing, teaching, and exhibiting. At age 22, she graduated from the University of Utah. She then studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with high honors and first in her art class.
From there, she moved to California where she studied and painted. Her most celebrated artistic excursion was her 18-month tour of Europe and the Near East in 1928. While there, she completed several small paintings that fit into her box of oil paints. Her instructors included J.T. Harwood, Edwin Evans, Charles Hawthorne, and Anna Hills.
Upon her return to Utah, she again resided in Salt Lake City, where she taught at the University of Utah. She was the first President of the Association of Utah Artists in 1940. Furthermore, she began Ogden's palette club and Utah's "Pageant of the Arts" in American Fork.
Florence Ware was a painter, illustrator, costume designer, interior designer, and muralist. She had numerous commissions from all these sources and was constantly busy, working for her eager clientele. She is probably best remembered for her murals at Kingsbury Hall, on the University of Utah campus, which depict the history of the arts in the Western world.
Ware was especially intrigued by the principles of color, as well as by natural and reflected light. She stated,
Probably the most interesting phase of art to me is the subtle beauty of color as it is shown and developed in picture, interiors, fabrics, gardens, and nature. I should like to arrange so far as I am able the perfect setting for a work of art.
Ware enjoyed painting nature, especially flowers, as well as painting human subjects. Never married, she died in Salt Lake City on November 11, 1971, at the age of 80. In her wake, Florence Ware left hundreds of paintings, dozens of murals, and hundreds of successful students.
One of her students, Ted Wassmer, would later, with his wife Judy Lund, donate a large collection of works to the Springville Museum of Art along with repeated, substantial financial contributions. The Museum also owns a Ted Wassmer painting of Florence Ware, seated on a swing in her garden, An Afternoon With Florence Ware.
Anderson, Carma Rose de Jong, "Florence Ellen Ware." Unpublished manuscript on file at the Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art 1991, Gibbs Smith