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Ms. Lippincott has dedicated her life to making art. After serving time in the Women’s Army Corps in World War II under President Eisenhower, Janet Lippincott first came to New Mexico in 1948 on the G.I. Bill to study art at Emil Bistram’s art school in Taos. When Mr. Bistram told her “women are not artists,” she became even more determined to become a great artist. He later retracted this statement. After spending a bit of time in Colorado and San Francisco (at the art institute), Janet Lippincott made Santa Fe her home in the late 50’s. She built her house and studio on Upper Canyon Road and began to paint. She was a voyeur, a woman artist committed to creating abstract paintings when most artists in Santa Fe were painting landscapes. The war was a great influence on her work, some of the paintings in the 1960’s and 1970’s depicted scenes of war such as a P.O.W., abstracted imagery of destroyed buildings, and use of poetry in her paintings such as “Where do all the Soldiers Go?” During the 1980’s, arthritis set in to the injuries she sustained during the war. She could no longer paint the large paintings and turned to printmaking as a new way of creating art. She continued to create monoprints in the 1990’s incorporating more collage materials into her work. In 2002 Ms. Lippincott received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2003 received a New Mexico Achievement Award from the National Museum of Women In The Arts. Janet often stated “my art is all I can give to the world, it is all I have to offer.”
Lippincott was widely traveled by the time she came to New Mexico in the late 1940s. As a young girl she lived in Paris, and as a teenager she trained in private schools and at the Art Students League in New York. During World War 11 she served in the Women’s Army Corps attached to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, suffering injuries during London blitzkriegs that haunted her throughout her life. On the GI Bill, she was lured to New Mexico by the transcendental movement and school of Emil Bisttram in Taos, followed by studies at the San Francisco Institute of Art and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. In the 1950s she returned to Santa Fe and ultimately built a home and studio on Canyon Road.
Identified in the press as a modern “iconoclast, pioneer and trailblazer,” Lippincott moved from early representational works and a lifelong love of minimalist drawings of the human figure to abstract expressionist paintings. Lippincott was a driving force in New Mexico’s contemporary art scene.
“Janet was an artist to the core,” says Ruhlen. “Making art was like breathing—it was her way of talking and expressing emotions. She was always looking for fresh ways to communicate her viewpoints whether in two or three-dimensional media.
During her lengthy career, Lippincott received many awards, including the 2002 New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the 2003 Arts Achievement Award from the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
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