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Annie Lee

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Information about Annie Lee

Profile image of Annie Lee

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood, Chili
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Take Care Of Business.

Birthplace

Born:
3/3/1935
Birth Location:
Gadsden, Alabama

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood, Chili
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Take Care Of Business.

Birthplace

Born:
3/3/1935
Birth Location:
Gadsden
See how Annie Lee is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Artist Annie Frances Lee was born on March 3, 1935, in Gadsden, Alabama; raised by a single parent, she grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Wendell Phillips High School. Lee began painting at an early age, winning her first art competition at the age of ten. Lee was offered a four year scholarship to attend Northwestern University after high school, but married instead and raised a family.

It was not until age forty that Lee decided to pursue a career as an artist; she enrolled in Loop Junior College and completed her undergraduate work at Mundelein College in Chicago. After eight years of night classes while working at Northwestern Railroad as a clerk in the engineering department, Lee earned her M.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts education from Loyola University. Lee’s railroad job inspired one of her most popular paintings, Blue Monday, which depicts a woman struggling to pull herself out of bed on a Monday morning. Her trademarks are the animated emotion of the personalities in the artwork and the faces which are painted without features. At age fifty, Lee had her first gallery show; she allowed prints to be made of four of her original paintings. Using her unique designs, Lee also developed figurines, high fashion dolls, decorative housewares, and kitchen tiles.

After showing her work in other galleries for a number of years, Lee opened Annie Lee and Friends Gallery where she displayed her works as well as the works of other artists. When several of her paintings appeared on the sets of popular television shows such as The Cosby Show and A Different World, the exposure helped popularize her work. Although she regularly received requests for public appearances, Lee preferred to appear at gallery shows; she also enjoyed visiting schools to encourage and inspire students. She passed away on November 14, 2014, at the age of 79.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Annie Lee's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Annie Lee lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Annie Lee describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Annie Lee remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Annie Lee describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Annie Lee describes her early education in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Annie Lee describes her marriages
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Annie Lee remembers Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Annie Lee describes her career at Chicago and North Western Railway
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Annie Lee remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Annie Lee recalls her early activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Annie Lee describes her neighbors in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Annie Lee recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Annie Lee describes her secretarial career in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Annie Lee recalls her marriage and divorce from her second husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Annie Lee describes her experiences of domestic abuse
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Annie Lee remembers how she became an artist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her secondary education in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Annie Lee describes her introduction to home show art companies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her role as chief clerk at Chicago and North Western Railway
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Annie Lee remembers her early paintings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Annie Lee talks about the inspiration for her artwork
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Annie Lee recalls her first gallery show in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Annie Lee describes her decision to open a gallery
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Annie Lee reflects upon her decision not to depict faces in her paintings
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her creative process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Annie Lee shares her advice about collecting art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her coloring book illustrations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Annie Lee talks about licensing her artwork
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Annie Lee describes her plans for the future, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Annie Lee reflects upon her religious involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Annie Lee talks about the artists with whom she collaborated
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Annie Lee reflects upon the experiences of African American female artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Annie Lee describes her reasons for opening her gallery
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Annie Lee talks about her art collection
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Annie Lee reflects upon her customer base
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Annie Lee recalls the appearances of her artwork on television
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Annie Lee talks about her children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Annie Lee describes her plans for the future, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Annie Lee reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her advice to aspiring artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Annie Lee describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Annie Lee reflects upon the lack of recognition for artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Annie Lee narrates her photographs