Josephine Arsemena Cantine

Artist Biography

By the mid-twentieth century, critics, museums, and art collectors had taken note of Jo Cantine.  Celebrated for her realistic portraits and scenes of exotic locales, Cantine was heralded as one of the century’s foremost woman painters.  Like many of her contemporaries, Cantine painted at the artist’s colony in Woodstock where she created landscapes, figure paintings, and still lifes.  She also traveled to Panama where she painted the flora, fauna and native dress of the country.  Cantine exhibited her works at the Corcoran biennial of 1939, Art Institute of Chicago, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Notably, her masterpiece La Pollera was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1940 and remained in its collection until 1996.

According to William J. Weidenbacher, a relative of Jo Cantine, the artist was the granddaughter of the first president of Panama, Jose Arosamena.

Selected Bibliography:

Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America.  Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

McCausland, Elizabeth. “Exhibitions in New York.” Parnassus 12 (Jan. 1940): 23–31.

Williams, Hermann Warner, Jr.  “Notes.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 35 (June 1940): 134–5. 

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