Lois Bartlett Tracy’s paintings were well known to Sarasota art lovers. One of the first members of the Sarasota Art Association, Tracy was famous for her jungle pictures.The Tampa Tribune, November 26, 1935, described her painting at the Florida State Fair, “Probably the painting that has received the most ‘closeup and far-away’ observation is ‘Florida Jungle’, adjudged to be the best Florida subject. At a distance the jungle scene has the appearance of being treated with a certain amount of detail, the leaves, the bird on the limb, and the flying birds, but close up the details are lost in the ‘daubs’ of paint, but those ‘daubs’ crude though they may appear in a close study, were placed and blended most artfully. Her ‘Druid Oak’ another attractive production is handled in somewhat more detail, with an artfully handled water reflection.”
Ralph McKelvey reviewed Tracy’s work exhibited at the Ringling Museum, as part of a Sarasota Art Association exhibit, in the Sarasota Herald, February 19, 1939, “Lois Tracy, whose oaks and jungles of the current season are in the tradition that has gained her such single acclaim, is out with a new approach to nature, a major canvas centering the right north wall, and one that carries the suspicion that it may possess some of the elements of greatness. A stream of no great width, flowing between sand banks, emerges from distant flat country, and about and beyond are negligible items of tropical vegetation. For what it represents, the picture is of no great significance, in fact in some particulars it is badly done, but-in its arresting ensemble of color the canvas as a whole makes a terrific appeal. It has the strength and incisiveness that ranks it at a high level, a level that prevails in the great national shows where, if offered, it may very well find acceptance.”
Glenn Tilley Morse, president of the Sarasota Art Association, in a review of Tracy’s work in the Sarasota Herald, March 5, 1940 said, “Mrs. Tracy shows too few of her New Hampshire scenes near her summer home, ‘Tall Timbers,’ Laconia, for in them she even excels the excellence of her Florida pictures. It is certainly a great joy to see the luxuriant beauty of New England’s autumn glory. Nature becomes brilliant and lively, scintillating in sparkling glory; great trees look like giant gorgeous blossoms; the hills and mountains seem covered with Persian carpets. Nature proves a clever painter with complimentary colors accentuating the character and flow of each other; the evergreens making the red and orange sign and the purple shadows glorifying the yellows. Mrs. Tracy has the ability to record this beauty and glory.”
Her painting, Tropical Tapestry, hung in the Florida Building of the New York World’s Fair, won the popular prize at a Ringling School exhibit and went on a two year circuit with the Southern States Art League. Tracy spent winters in Florida and summers in Laconia, New Hampshire where she conducted an art colony, Tall Timbers, and helped organize the New Hampshire Art Association.
Born: Jackson, Michigan.
Education: Sophie Parsons; Jean Jacque Pfister; Hilton Leech; Stanley Woodward; Michigan State University; Rollins College; Ringling School of Art with Lorran Wilford, Larson, and Hoffman.
Membership: Sarasota Art Association, president; Florida Federation of Art; Orlando Art Association; Florida Gulf Coast Art Group; Clearwater Art Museum; Art League of Manatee County; Southern States Art League; Studio Guild of New York; New Hampshire Art Association.
Exhibits: Allied Arts of Winter Park, 1929, 1930, 1st prize; Florida Federation of Art, 1931, 1932, best Florida subject; First Art Salon, Yowell-Drew Department Store, Beach Street, Daytona Beach, February 9-16, 1932, Wisteria Vine; Central Florida Exhibition, 1st prize, oil, 1932; Florida Federation of Art, Annual Circuit, 1933, best Florida subject, Casey’s Pass; Florida State Fair, Tampa, November 1935, Florida Jungle; Florida Federation of Art, 9th Annual Exhibit, Tampa, best marine painting, professional, November 1935; Sarasota Art Association, popular prize, 1936; Florida Federation of Art, 11th Annual Exhibition, St. Augustine, December 2-5, 1937, Black Bottom Byways, Jungle Tapestry; Studio Guild of New York, Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings, New York City, January 1938, Jungle Cabaret, The Farm; Sarasota Art Association, Artists and Models Exhibit, John Ringling Hotel, Sarasota, January 1938; Federal Art Galleries, St. Petersburg, January 1938, Florida oil paintings; Miami Federal Art Galleries, February 1938, Deer Prairie Slough, Jungle Idol; Florida Building, New York World’s Fair, 1938; Miami Woman’s Club, 1938, award of merit; Ringling Museum, 1938, landscape prize; Florida Federation of Art, All Florida Exhibit, Palm Beach, April 1938, Tropical Tapestry, Black Bottom Byways, 2nd honorable mention, professional, Florida subject, 3rd honorable mention, landscape, professional; Florida Federation of Art Annual, Society of The Four Arts, Palm Beach, December 1938, honorable mention, professional, oil, Jungle Trees; Albany Institute of History and Art, Contemporary American Art Exhibit, February 1939, Jungle Idol; Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass. May 1939, Contemporary American Art Exhibit, Florida Jungle; Sarasota Art Association, Cain Building, Orange Avenue, Art in Our Town, December 1939; Sarasota Art Association, 10th Annual Members Exhibition, March 1940, Gale on Siesta; Clearwater Art Museum, Twelve Florida Artists, April-May 1941, Jungle Idol, Jungle Cabaret, Florida Jungle, Jungle Pool, Gulf Tithe; Clearwater Art Museum, Gulf Coast Artists Group, Annual Circuit, 1942, Jungle Idol, Tropical Tapestry; Florida Federation of Art, 16th Annual, St. Petersburg, December 1943, honorable mention, Grandma and Grandpa; Florida Gulf Coast Artists Group, nation wide circuit, Miami to Wisconsin, Newark, San Francisco, Syracuse, 1944; Clearwater Art Museum, 10th Annual Exhibit, March 1944; Clearwater Art Museum, Florida Gulf Coast Art Group, 4th Annual, circuit toured the state, 1944-1945; Florida Gulf Coast Group, 5th Annual Exhibition, nation wide circuit, July 1945-May 1946, Art Colony; Florida Gulf Coast Group, Clearwater Art Museum, 5th Annual, nation wide circuit, July 1946-May 1947, oils, Too Little Faith, Ranch Pattern with Brahman Bulls; Florida Gulf Coast Group, Clearwater Art Museum, 6th Annual, nation wide circuit, July 1947-May 1948, oil, House That Fell Not; Florida Gulf Coast Group, sponsorship of Clearwater Art Museum, 7th Annual nation wide circuit, July 1948 to May 1949, oil, Brahman Bulls; Florida Gulf Coast Group, 8th Annual Exhibition, Clearwater Art Museum, on nation wide circuit, July 1949 to May1950, black and white, New York El; Jacksonville WPA Art Center, April 1950, Too Little Faith; Pen and Brush Club, New York, 1st prize, 1950; Clearwater Art Group Galleries, December 1950, thirty oil and watercolors; National Association of Women Artists, 1st prize, Henry Gaisman prize, 1950; Florida Artist Group, 2nd Annual national circuit, shown under auspices of the Art Department, University of Florida, May 1951 to April 1952, Power Enigma; Florida Artist Group, 3rd Annual, national circuit, shown under auspices of the Clearwater Art Group, May 1952 to April 1953, Sea Pastures; Pen and Brush Club, New York City, 1955; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, traveling exhibit, 1955; National Association of Woman Artists, traveling show, 1955; State Teachers College, Fredonia, New York, one woman show, 1955; Florida Artist Group, 6th Annual Circuit, Palm Beach Art League, April 1955, The Circumventing Vine; Virginia Intermont Exhibition, 1955, 1956; Norfolk Museum of Art, 1956; Florida State Fair, Tampa, February 1958; Winston Salem Gallery, 1958; Art League of Manatee County, Member’s Annual Juried Exhibit, March 1959, Evening; Society of The Four Arts, 21st Annual, Contemporary American Paintings, December 1959, ink, Dimensions; New York Public Library; Museum of Arts and Science, Staten Island; American Federation of Art; Listed in Who’s Who in American Art.