ESTHER BLANKE 1902 AND 1903 MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY NOTED CHICAGO METALWORK ARTIST ESTHER BLANKE SISTER OF MARIE ELSA BLANKE, EARLY LOVER OF JANE HEAP
1902 Soft Cover Good Manuscript
On offer are the super 1902 and 1903 handwritten diaries and travel journals belonging to Esther Blanke [1882-1978], a prominent Chicago artist specializing in watercolors and metalwork. She was born in 1882 in Chicago and attended the School of the Art Institute. She also studied in Milan, Italy, Munich, Germany, and London, England. Esther's sister was Marie Elsa Blanke, also a famed Chicago Arts and Crafts artist. [Marie was the lover of Jane Heap, a pioneer in American Modernist literature, and editor of "The Little Review" in the early 1900s.] In Remembering Bix by Ralph Bolton, the author makes mention of Esther and Marie as the 'spinster sisters who taught music and German at Lewis Institute a Chicago day college that no longer exists. The people one met at the Blanke's…the artiest faggots, the grimmest dykes, the dirtiest poets, shabbiest painters, shyest stammering composers, drunkenest actors and most skeletal dancers…' Another online reference notes: 'Jane Heap graduated from Topeka High School on May 28, 1901. In October 1901, at the age of 17, she enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago. She later became a student at the Lewis Institute in Chicago, where Marie Blanke became her mentor and close friend. Marie Blanke and Heap organized and operated "Blanke and Heap's Nickel Theatre" at the Lewis Institute. Marie Blanke was the "James" to whom Jane Heap refers in her letters to Reynolds in 1908-1909. Jane Heap met Florence Reynolds through Marie Blanke's "Chicago group," a circle of friends which included Esther Blanke, Florence Reynolds, Elsa Koop, and Olive Garnet. The "Chicago group" was comprised of young women from affluent families who shared an interest in the arts.' The 1st diary begins on October 3rd 1902, and is written from Genoa, the 2nd diary begins on August 3rd 1903, and is written from Antwerp. Other cities visited include: Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, Hague, Amsterdam, Cologne, Bonn, Mainz, Heidelberg, Rothenburg, Nuremburg, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples, Genoa, Milan, Bellaggio, Pallunza, Lucerne, Strasbourg, Paris, London.' 1902 is filled completely, 1903 about three-quarters full. The notebook style journals, approximately 8 x 6 inches are overall G+.