Pauline Palmer was born in McHenry, Illinois. She was a widely recognized painter of both landscape and portraits and was very active in Chicago up until her death in 1938. Palmer studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with William M. Chase, with Gustave Courtois and Lucien Simon in Paris, as well as with Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She exhibited extensively in Chicago and the surrounding area from 1898-1938, receiving awards at the St. Louis Exposition and the Art Institute of Chicago on several occasions.
Although one is struck by Palmer’s impressionism, The Garden Gate is still within the sunny world of the Genteel Tradition. It shows Palmer’s vigorous and liberal application of pure pigment, a striking use of pure white highlights in the middleground, otherwise a limited palette of greens and blues. The work is perhaps a portrait, because of the way in which the figure is centered, dramatically lit from behind, and “crowned” with the distant trellis; yet it reveals that well-known “glimpse” of a young woman lost in thought for a moment.
Courtesy of R.H. Love Gallery, Peoria, Illinois