[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
BRENER, Kate [active 1920s]
View Over Rooftops
oil on panel / 16 inches by 12.5 inches
The Gladdens, Edith and Monroe, operated Agincourt’s first commercial gallery at 105 North Broad. Edith Cooper had been a student of art at college but managed the art department of Younker Brothers in Des Moines after her marriage to Monroe Gladden in 1915. Building on his career as a successful cabinetmaker, he and Edith relocated to Agincourt, where they sold both art and custom-made framing. Edith used her knowledge gained in art school and connections with friends from those years to develop relationships with young progressive artists. Kate Brener was among that group. Otherwise, little is known about Ms Brener.
“View Over Rooftops” was probably painted in Europe—city unidentified—in a plein air style popular in the first quarter of the 20th century. Compare its hazy atmospherics with Anita Burnham Willets’ “Chicago from a Rooftop.”
A sticker attests to the painting’s origin at the Gladden Gallery. It appears to have been acquired from the Gladdens when they closed their shop about 1955. Monroe died that year and Edith went to live with their daughter in St Joseph, Missouri.