Jane Mengel Allen (1888-1952)

Jane Allen gouache
signed J.M.A., l.r. (image)
13 3/4 x 19 inches (image)
14 1/2 x 20 inches (sheet)


Jane Allen and her husband, fellow artist Arthur Allen, were linked to two major Louisville manufacturers, the Belknap Hardware and Mengel companies. The library of their estate was considered the most beautiful room in early 20th century Louisville. The couple were philanthropists and major supporters of the arts.

While critics considered Arthur Allen a landscapist, Jane Allen was characterized as a leading still-life artist, along with Maud Ainslie.

Ainslie was a major player in establishing the Louisville Art Association, Handicraft Guild and Art Center. She was involved in the Provincetown, Massachusetts, art colony for years, and she encouraged Louisville artists to travel there for study. Jane Allen did just that, working with the founder of the Cape Cod School of Art, Impressionist Charles Webster Hawthorne. Allen learned block printing and lithography.

Allen showed her prizewinning art, mainly watercolors, nationally and was a member of the National Association of Women Artists. Her work could be described as more personal than her husband’s, more introspective and sometimes revealing.