Jennie Lea Knight

Jennie Lea Knight. American, 1933 - 2007

Eccentric abstract sculptor whose images came from nature.

Artist Statement

Sculpture will always be my most comfortable media…I think like a sculptor. I like the tangible quality of sculpture. It is something that you can touch. It is not elusive. The basic (tenets) of sculpture are simple, dealing with the same problems that we have to deal with in our own bodies, balance, strength, weight, posture, size and space. Sculpture is not an immediate process. It takes time...

Jennie Lea Knight

BIOGRAPHY - dated late 1950's

Jennie Lea Knight

Jennie Lea Knight was born March 31, 1933 in Washington, D.C.  Her professional training was received at the King-Smith School of Creative Arts, and she is a graduate of The Institute of Contemporary Arts where she studied painting, design, sculpture, and music.  Since the completion of her work at the Institute she has studied at American University with Robert Gates, James Caudle, and William Calfee.

In October of 1955, Miss Knight in conjunction with Miss Nancy Lloyd and Mrs. Vera Knight founded The Studio Gallery of Art, 814 Prince Street, Alexandria, and Northern Virginia’s first and only professional art gallery.  Since that time Miss Knight has served on the display staff of the gallery, on its exhibition jury, and as a teacher of painting and drawing at the gallery school.

Miss Knight has had one-man exhibitions of her paintings and drawings at the “O” Street Gallery, The Silver Spring Theatre Gallery, The Studio Gallery of Art, and The Martha Washington Library.  Her work has been in various competitive exhibitions including The Society of Washington Artists, and The Corcoran Annual Area Show, and in exhibitions at The Watkins Gallery and The Loudoun County Sketch Club.

Miss Knight’s painting is represented in The Phillips Gallery Collection and the private collections of Father Russell Woollen, Mr. and Mrs. Whitley P. McCoy, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Stevens, Mr. Walter Harlow, and Capt. and Mrs. E. K. Van Swearingen, and others.

Miss Knight is employed as an illustrator and photographer with The Laboratory of Psychology, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

AU News
Watkins Gallery Presents Jennie Lea Knight; Esteemed Washington Sculptor to exhibit sculptures and drawings

WASHINGTON, DC (August 5, 2004) – The Watkins Gallery at American University presents Jennie Lea Knight from Sept. 27 to Oct. 23, 2004. Well known for her abstract wood sculptures that suggest natural forms, Jennie Lea Knight presents new miniature sculptures of animals. Knight has exhibited her art in the Washington area for more than 40 years, with solo exhibitions at the Phillips Collection, Jefferson Place Gallery, and Franz Bader Gallery among others. 

She founded the Studio Gallery in 1956 and has taught at the Corcoran School of Art, George Mason University, and American University. Her work is in the collections of The Phillips Collection, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Knight lives and works on a small farm in Haymarket, VA.

This exhibition of new work by Jennie Lea Knight marks a major shift in scale for the artist. Known for her beautifully crafted wood abstractions, Knight spent years creating large sculpture through physically demanding techniques. However after developing a condition that affected her mobility, she began to make small hand carved pieces. The works in the exhibition were all carved by hand. They are small scale intimate pieces only a few inches in size. Her inspiration comes from the animals that live on her farm in Virginia – sheep, chickens, cats, and horses. The simplicity of the lines and shapes that Knight carves captures the majestic qualities of the animals in miniature but powerful sculptures.

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