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Jean McLane was born on September 14, 1878 in Chicago and died on January 23, 1964 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her first studies were with John Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago. She later studied with Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati, Ohio. McLane later moved to New York to study with William Merritt Chase. Chase was the first to purchase a painting of her early works.
McLane and her husband, artist John C. Johansen (1876-1964) help found the National Foundation of Portrait Painters in 1912. In that same year, she was invited by a group of philanthropists to depict the Allied Leaders from W.W. I. McLane provided the only female subject, Queen Elisabeth of Belgians. This painting now hangs in the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. Also in 1912, she was elected associate member of the National Academy of Design and a full academician in 1926.
McLane became noted for her portraits of women and children. In 1931, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her portrait of actor William Gillette hangs at the Academy.
Bronze Medal, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904 First Prize
International League, Paris, 1907
New York Women's Art Club, 1907 Burgess Prize
New York Women's Art Club, 1908
Julia Shaw Prize, National Academy of Design, 1912
Third Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Design, 1913
Lippincott Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1914 Silver Medal
Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, 1915 Harris Silver Medal and Prize
Art Institute Chicago, 1924
Museum of Art, Toledo Art Institute of Chicago
San Antonio Museum
Texas Syracuse Art Museum
New York National Museum of American Art