American (Illinois / California) 1883-1971


Jesse Arms Botke, Carmel by the Sea, Peacock and Cockatoos



Oil on canvasboard

Signed and titled verso: Jessie Arms Botke, Carmel by the Sea Calif.

Housed in a 22K yellow gold custom Arts & Craft frame (the original frame also available)


 Provenance : Gifted to the previous owner from the Artist


Museums (10): including Art Institute of Chicago, The Carnegie Art Museum, Irvine Museum,

Norton Gallery of Art, City of Ventura Municipal Art Collection, Sheldon Swope Art Museum


Books (41): including Carmel Art Association, Botke-McComas-Seidendeck;

Masterworks of California Impressionism, Jean Stern


Size: 6.5" x 12" / Framed Size : 12.75" x 18.5"


PRICE : Please Inquire 



This painting was a gift to the previous owner. 

It was a study for a larger 26" x 47" painting, and so inscribed verso :






Jessie Arms Botke, one of the most celebrated female artists of the early 20th century,

is best known for her paintings of exotic birds.

Her favorite subjects were peacocks, toucans and cockatoos, among detailed leaves and flora. 

The work is fanciful and jewel-like in its conception and execution, often on a gold leaf ground. 

Her work ranges from small works to large murals, always with the same rich tapestry of design. 


Botke discovered the peacock when commissioned by the Herter Looms (NY)

to paint dining room murals for silent film star Billie Burke's home at Hastings-on-the-Hudson.

Ms. Burke had wanted something akin to Whistler's "Peacock Room",

(now reinstalled at the Smithsonian, closer to Whistler's original vision) :



On her first visit to the Brooklyn zoo and its white peacocks, Botke had remarked,

"It was love at first sight and has been ever since," . 


She later stated, concerning her love for birds :


“My interest in birds was not sentimental, it was always what sort of pattern they made,

and the white peacock was so appealing because it was a simple,

but beautiful white form to be silhouetted against dark background,

and the texture and pattern of the lacy tail broke the harshness of the white mass

without losing the simplicity of the pattern.”


 The work of Jessie Arms Botke is represented in many major collections and museums, including

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Carnegie Art Museum, The Irvine Museum, and The Norton Gallery of Art.

Her murals are housed in the University of Chicago and the Oxnard California Public Library.


Botke was married to well known early California impressionist Cornelius Botke.


-Millicent Ford Creech






Jessie Arms BOTKE (1883-1971)


Birth place: Chicago, IL

Death place: Santa Paula, CA

Addresses: Chicago, IL; Santa Paula, CA

Profession: Painter, illustrator, printmaker, muralist


Studied: Art Institute of Chicago, with John Johanson, Charles Woodbury; Herter; Europe


Exhibited: Art Institute of Chicago, 1904-15 (as Jessie Arms), 1917-27 (as Jessie Arms Botke), prizes, 1918, 1919, 1926; Peoria Society of Allied Artists, 1918 (med.); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1919;  National Association of Women Artists, 1925 (prize), 1933 (prize); Sesqui- Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, 1926; Southwest Exposition, 1928 (medal); Western Academy Painters, 1935 (prize), 1936 (prize); Sanity in Art, 1938 (prize); National Academy of Design; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Corcoran Gallery, 1926, 1932; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Golden Gate Exposition, 1939; California Palace Legion of Honor; California State Fair, 1947 (prize); Chicago Galleries Association,1951 (prize); Paris Salon.


Member: California Watercolor Society; California Art Club; National Association of Women Artists; American Watercolor Society; Foundation of Western Art; Chicago Gallery of Art; Grand Central Gallery Art


Work: Art Institute of Chicago; Nebraska Art Association; Santa Paula, Bakersfield, Gardena (CA) High School; Mills College; Swope Gallery of Art; Norton Gallery of Art; Los Angeles County College; murals, University of Chicago; I. Magnin Co., Los Angeles; Woodrow Wilson High School, Oxnard, CA; Ojai, CA; Art Deco restorations.


Comments: After 1905 she painted friezes for a decorating firm and, following a painting trip to Europe, she designed tapestries in NYC. She married C. Botke in Chicago and moved to California in 1919. Noted for decorative paintings of exotic birds, she often painted on metallic surfaces.


Sources: Who's Who 1966; Who's Who 1947; Hughes, Artists of California, '62; P&H Samuels, '60; Charles Woodbury and His Students; '22; Trenton, ed. Independent Spirits, '58 (w/repro.)


Museums - Partial List (10) :


City of Ventura Municipal Art Collection 

Art Institute of Chicago

San Diego Museum of Art Balboa Park

Sheldon Swope Art Museum

The Carnegie Art Museum

The Irvine Museum

Norton Gallery of Art

Union League Club of Chicago 

USC Fisher Gallery

Ventura County Museum of History & Art



This biography is drawn from the 'Who Was Who in American Art' , the reference book on the cultural life in the United States.



Please click below for related California Impressionists:


Frederick Carl Smith

Emil Kosa

Maurice Logan

Jean Manheim

Karl Julius Heinrich Yens





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Jesse Arms Botke, Carmel by the Sea, Peacock and Cockatoos, Oil on Panel


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