McLane Bio


M. Jean McLane (1878-1964)
1940 artist interview
Essay by Frederick Platt

Jean MacLane was born on September 14, 1878 in Chicago and died on January 23, 1964 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her first studies were with John Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago. She later studied with Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati, Ohio. MacLane later moved to New York to study with William Merritt Chase. Chase was the first to purchase a painting of her early works.

MacLane and her husband, artist John C. Johansen (1876-1964) help found the National Foundation of Portrait Painters in 1912. In that same year, she was invited by a group of philanthropists to depict the Allied Leaders from W.W. I. MacLane provided the only female subject, Queen Elisabeth of Belgians. This painting now hangs in the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. Also in 1912, she was elected associate member of the National Academy of Design and a full academician in 1926.

MacLane became noted for her portraits of women and children. In 1931, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her portrait of actor William Gillette hangs at the Academy.


  • Bronze Medal, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904
  • First Prize, International League, Paris, 1907 & 8
  • Elling Prize, New York Women's Art Club, 1907
  • Burgess Prize, New York Women's Art Club, 1908
  • Julia Shaw Prize, National Academy of Design, 1912
  • Third Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Design, 1913
  • Lippincott Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1914
  • Silver Medal, Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, 1915
  • Harris Silver Medal and Prize, Art Institute Chicago, 1924


  • Museum of Art, Toledo
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • San Antonio Museum, Texas
  • Syracuse Art Museum, New York
  • National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.


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