Pauline Margaret Harper Moll

Pauline Harper Moll died in 1982 at the age of 91, at her home in Santa Barbara, 105 W. Sola Street. She was born in Calcutta, India, on March 26, 1891. Educated in England, she served as a nurse there in hospitals during WW I. Later she lived in Italy, Africa, China and Australia. She was active as an artist in Taos and in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also in Hollywood, Pomona and in Santa Barbara. Some of the artists with whom she studied were Howard Warshaw, Rico Lebrun, Emil Bistram, Joseph Imhoff and Ikno Serisawa.

Pauline Harper Moll was friends with many writers---including D.H. Lawrence, and his wife Frieda. She lived with them in Italy as well as in Taos. Among her works are several sketches of the Lawrence cabin in Taos. Rudyard Kipling in India, William Butler Yeats in Ireland and Aldous Huxley in Hollywood were among her close associates.

She first made her home in Santa Barbara in the early Thirties. From here, she set out, from time to time, in short stretches to New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. But she always came back to Santa Barbara. "The Art Digest Magazine" of September 1, 1943 features a long, detailed article 'Artists of the South West Hold Fiesta Annual at the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe". Pauline Harper is mentioned there as "showing off to town." The names of her fellow artists read like the Who is Who in American Art: Randall Davey, Kenneth Adams, J.H. Sharp, Victor Higgins, Blumenschein, Berninghaus, to name a few.

On October 19, 1951, in an article in "the Art in the News", by Alfred Morang: "......the autumn exhibition of New Mexico painting for 1951 at the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico contains some excellent paintings in all styles. Pauline Harper's "Degen Quartet Practicing" is strong in colour and the drawing has certain Fauve overtones that strengthen the design while establishing a strong musical mood". "The Santa Fe New Mexican" ........a large illustration of her watercolour 'Rio Grande" is included...... this watercolour is part of a display by Pauline Harper Moll, Taos, New Mexico, and is now being shown at the Art Gallery. She has been a resident of Taos since 1941 and has exhibited widely in New Mexico, Arizona, and California". "The Santa Fe New Mexican"......."Woman Artists Hold Stage in Art Museum Exhibit" -- Pauline Harper in her first one-man show here, has received commendation for the versatility of her technique and approach. Her Chinese paintings on rice paper are sensitive and strong. And her striking studies of cocks have received special praise for their delineation of bird characters."

Pauline Harper Moll maintained a long friendship with Theosophical leader and author Jiddu Krishnamurti. In 1939, she had helped him translate his biography 'Man is His Own Liberator', from French into English. The paintings, drawings, and watercolours in the estate of Pauline Harper Moll were left to the Krishnamurti Foundation. Proceeds of their sale go to the Oak Grove School in Ojai, California.


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