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Alice Cleaver, Indian Home Life, Zuni, Oil on Canvas, 1907, 35″ x 43″
Alice Cleaver was born in 1878 in Falls City, Nebraska, daughter of an insurance salesman and former homesteader. She studied art at the University of Nebraska, Art Institute of Chicago, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While still a student in Philadelphia in the early 1900’s, Cleaver traveled to Arizona and New Mexico in order to paint the lifestyle and surroundings of the Pueblo Indians. In order to travel, she would often exchange her paintings for rail fare.
After finishing her studies, Cleaver lived in Paris from 1913-1914, exhibiting her work and seemingly beginning a promising career as a painter. However, she returned to Falls City in 1914 under pressure from overbearing parents. She remained close to home for the rest of her life, teaching art and music and continuing to paint a little, but her career was certainly over.