Friday, July 17, 2015

Allie Tennant and Vivian Aunspaugh

Dallas art teacher Vivian Aunspaugh (1869-1960) was one of Tennant's first art teachers. Aunspaugh had studied in the late nineteenth century at the Art Student’s League in New York City with later trips to Paris and Rome for additional training. She arrived in Dallas in 1891 where she became a local artist but decided to found a private art academy. Founded in 1902, this school was the first to offer classes that involved sketching a nude model, although only male students could engage in such activity.
Vivian Louise Aunspaugh at her easel
Allie Tennant first took instruction from Aunspaugh while a high school student. The elder artist taught Tennant at the art school operated by Kathryn Lester Crawford. Then, when that school closed, Tennant enrolled at the academy operated by Aunspaugh. Vivian Aunspaugh lived to age 91. She and Allie Tennant enjoyed a friendship that lasted for over fifty years. Read more about Aunspaugh at the Handbook of Texas or on the blog entry by Dr. Suanne Shafer. Today the papers of Vivian Aunspaugh are conserved as part of the archival holdings of the Jerry Bywaters Collection at the Hamon Art Library of SMU in Dallas. Click here to learn more about that collection.