Jennie Lea Knight
A catalog of the artist's non-sculptural work


Jennie Lea Knight
(1933 - 2007)

Jennie Lea Knight was born in Washington, D.C., where she received her art training. She began her studies in design and music at the King-Smith School of Creative Arts and in 1951 graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Arts, where she studied painting with Ken Noland. She attended American University, studying with Robert Gates and William Calfee, and later became an instructor there. She was an instructor and lecturer at the Corcoran School, the Art League School and George Mason University.
During the early 1950s Knight became increasingly interested in three-dimensional media, and by 1964 was concentrating entirely on sculpture. In 1956, she co-founded Studio Gallery on King Street in Alexandria. She directed the art gallery, one of the first in Northern Virginia, for about 10 years and then gave it up to the participating artists, who turned it into the city's first cooperative. During the summers of 1964 and 1965 Knight worked in the bronze foundry of the Penland School, where she cast and finished her own pieces using the lost-wax method. The following year she worked in the Fonderia Battaglia in Milan, devoting further study to casting techniques. In 1972, she was chief of installation of the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

After progressively debilitating fibromyalgia and several bouts of cancer hampered her physically demanding large-scale art, she began carving small, intimate sculptures by hand. The miniature but powerful sculptures were shown at American University's Watkins Gallery in 2004, in her last show.


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