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Daily Art Moment: Bue Kee

“Bue Kee’s ‘Self-Portrait’ is currently a part of the exhibit, Portraiture from the Collection of Northwest Art, and it is a work I am eager to see again in person. Kee worked in a variety of mediums including painting, ceramics, and photography. Born and raised on a farm outside of Portland, Kee was Chinese-American. Despite having hearing loss and not finishing grade school, he later attended the Museum Art School and was mostly known for his work as a WPA-Federal-Art-Project artist working in ceramics at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood and Tongue Point Naval Air Station near Astoria. Kee’s self-portrait from ca. 1930 captures a neutral tone with a softness of light and form, while the delicacy of his lines create a crispness to his white shirt and accentuates the features of his face.”

Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art

Bue Kee (American, 1893–1985). Self-Portrait, ca. 1930. Oil on canvas. Gift of Michael Parsons and Marte Lamb, 2005.114.3 © unknown, research required