Catherine Wiley

Catherine Wiley (HM2HK2)

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N 35° 57.901', W 83° 55.099'

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(1879-1958)

—Knoxville History Project —

Recognized as one of Knoxville's most influential artists of the early 20th century, Catherine Wiley was born near Knoxville in Coal Creek (later Lake City, now Rocky Top). Her father worked in the coal industry before moving the family to Knoxville in 1882, where Catherine, and her sister and fellow artist, Eleanor McAdoo Wiley (1876-1977) grew up on Fort Sanders' Laurel Avenue. Her grandfather was the prominent attorney and businessman William Gibbs McAdoo, Sr., and her uncle was U.S. Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, Jr. Wiley's sister Eleanor McAdoo Wiley, was also an active painter in Knoxville.
Catherine Wiley first attended the University of Tennessee and later taught there. Following a move to New York in 1903, she was active with the Art Students League where she studied under American Impressionist Frank DuMond. Wiley returned to Knoxville in 1905 after a brief spell at the New York School of Art where she studied with William Merritt Chase. In 1912, she returned to New York to study with American Impressionist painter Robert Reid.
Along with several other Knoxville artists, including Lloyd Branson and Charles Krutch, Wiley joined the Nicholson Art League (1906-1923), which often met close to here at 604 South Gay Street. The group helped organize major art exhibits for several Knoxville cultural expositions



held at Chilhowee Park: the Appalachian Expositions of 1910 and 1911, and the National Conservation Exposition of 1913. Wiley served as the Chair of the Art Committee at the 1913 exposition which attracted more than one million visitors in its two-month run.
In 1926, Catherine Wiley suffered a breakdown and was institutionalized in Pennsylvania and rarely painted again. Widely regarded as Tennessee's greatest Impressionist, she left behind a significant body of work and a lasting artistic legacy. She is buried in Old Gray Cemetery.
This painting is featured in the Knoxville Museum of Art's permanent exhibition,Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East TennesseeSpecial thanks to the Knoxville Museum of Art

Downtown Art Wraps are coordinated by the Knoxville History Project, an educational nonprofit with a mission to research and promote the history and culture of Knoxville. KHP's educational articles and publications feature colorful characters, bizarre tales, interesting buildings, curious traditions, as well as seriously influential local events. Learn more at knoxvillehistoryproject.org
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HM NumberHM2HK2
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Placed ByKnoxville History Project
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 8:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 236827 N 3984006
Decimal Degrees35.96501667, -83.91831667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 57.901', W 83° 55.099'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 57' 54.06" N, 83° 55' 5.9399999999998" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
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