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Ora Inge Maxim


Ora Inge Maxim (1895-1982) was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her art career was short spanning less than ten years, however, during that time her work was exhibited extensively and she was awarded numerous prizes in painting and printmaking. At some point early in her life she moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Although it she most likely studied art in school her fist formal art study began in 1928 at the age of 33, when she studied with Harry Neyland at the Swain School, in New Bedford. Her talents were evident very that year as she won first price for best still life painting and well as numerous honorable mentions. Ora Maxim went on to study with F. Mortimer Lamb and George B. Torrey in 1929 and 1930. It is know that she studied with Blanche Lazzell in Provincetown but the exact date is not known. It is known that she traveled to Provencetown often, and moved there permanently in 1940.

She traveled to Europe with Michael Jacobs and fifteen other artists in the summer of 1930. She exhibited seven of her paintings from the European trip at the Barbizon-Plaza Art Galleries in New York and later at the Crapo Gallery in New Bedford. The first white-line print exhibited was in 1931 and in the coming years she would exhibit many white-line color woodcuts. It was also noted that in 1931 she had her first one person show at Goodspeed's in Boston. In a 1932 exhibition review it was noted that her woodblocks were on display along with the print pulled from the blocks.

By the late 1930's Ora Inge Maxim stopped producing art, at least publicly, her career as been called that of a "fast-burning star." It is not known exactly whey she abruptly stopped, one thought is that of society's reluctance to accept and support a woman artist. Another is the effects the great depression had on the art world. It is known that she remarried in the mid 1930's. Her first husband who supported her art career died in 1930 and it is possible that her second marriage left little time for art. It is more likely however, that it was the combination of several of these issues.