Willie Betty Newman

During a decade spent in France, Willie Betty Newman attended the Académie Julian, traveled the rural regions seeking inspiration, and successfully submitted paintings to the prestigious Paris Salon. With its sun-dappled light, saturated color, and broken brushstrokes, French Poplar Trees in the Mist reflects the artist’s connection to the French Impressionists—an association heightened by her depiction of the tall trees that line the country’s roads and are hallmarks of many canvases by Claude Monet. After returning to Nashville, Newman established an eponymous school and became a vocal proponent for visual culture in the South, which she declared to be “the natural and logical home of all true art.”