Adele Lemm was born in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1904. She studied at Siena College in Memphis and later at the Memphis Academy of Arts. Her canvas imparts a warm-spirited, semi-abstract influence. She blends fantasy and reality in well-organized canvasses with a perfect perspective. Her works have a strong sense of design, using building blocks of soft color. She is an “essentialist” who omits unnecessary details. Her work is semi-abstract, or as Brain O’Doherty wrote in The New York Times, “semi-cubist academism.”
Lemm taught for 23 years at the junior school of the Memphis Academy. She exhibited at the Southern States Art League and in the 1950s at the National Academy of Women Artists’ annual exhibition. She won many prizes exhibiting: Mid-South of Exhibition of Paintings in Memphis, Audubon Artists in New York, the Philadelphia Watercolor Club and the Delgado Museum in New Orleans, to name a few. She had one-person shows at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Brooks Museum in Memphis, Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, and an important exhibition at Ward Eggleston Gallery in New York. Adele Lemm is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, the Brooks Museum in Memphis and the Memphis Academy of Art.
Ref. Archives of American Art, film 114: NCFA artist’s file; Alice Bingham Gallery, Memphis