Clara Tice: Drawing Outside of the Lines

  • Born May 22nd, 1888 in New York City
  • Died February 2nd, 1973 in her tiny studio apartment Queens, New York City (suffered from arthritis in hands and blinded by glaucoma)
  • American, lived in New York City for most of life
  • White female from middle-upper class background
  • Illustrator, graphic artist, theater set-designer, publicity-designer/publicist
  • Address in New York: Greenwich Village
  • Dates and Places of Overlap with Loy: Salons with the Arsensberg circle between 1915 and 1921 (uptown NYC)
  • Avant-garde movements Tice was associated with:
    • Originally had connection to the Ashcan school via her art mentor, Robert Henri
      • Ashcan school was a somewhat experimental, loosely aligned coalition of artists (mostly male) in earl 20th century NYC who wanted to make art which depicted the truths of urban life
    • Had a hand in financing the first exhibition of Independent artists
    • Modernist movement: Was introduced to Walter and Louise Arsensberg of the Arsensberg circle (of which Loy was a part) by Marcel Duchamp, and with them formed the Society of Independent Artists and its first exhibition.
      • Man Ray
      • Charles Demuth
      • Beatrice Wood
      • Mina Loy
    • Tice was called the “Queen of Greenwich Village” due to the role her erotic and revolutionary illustrations played in the Bohemian/Modernist scene of Greenwich Village during the 1910’s and 1920’s. Her illustrations, many of which depicted nude women and animals, caused simultaneously caused controversy and were celebrated by viewers. Tice exercised her artistic ability in each of the artistic careers she pursued throughout her life, ranging from set designer to children’s book editor.
    • Tice and Loy overlapped during the six-year span between 1915 and 1921, in which both Tice and Loy were active members of the Modernist Arsensberg circle.
      • Tice’s illustrations also appear in Loy’s book The Lost Lunar Baedeker, and one of her drawings was published with Loy’s “Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots.” (Thus, the two women definitely interacted and influenced each other artistically)
    • Also came into contact with Beatrice Wood and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Source for info above:

Guenter, Patricia. “Clara Tice Rediscovered.” Clara Tice: A Dada Woman. Fwd. Anne M. Lampe. Ex. cat. Lancaster: Demuth Museum, 2007. 4-10.


^put in paragraph form, give works cited/works consulted

  • plan on putting information/text of the bio into audio format
  • link narrative audio files (“Hello, I’m, Clara Tice…”) to illustrations, to make interactive
  • Illustrations:
    • illustrated Clara Tice collaged onto historical Jessie Tarbox Beals photographs of Bohemian 1910’s/1920’s Greenwich Village
      • add sound effects to objects and city scenes
        • car horns
        • pencils/paintbrushes
        • glass
        • voices (sounds of public spaces)
  • colloquial language used in narrations
  • Clara Tice’s tour of Greenwich village


Draft of Narration–In process of being completed(segments attached to images, detailing/condensing information in bullet points):

1st image (framed portrait illustration):


“Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Clara Tice, although I’m often referred to around these parts as the queen of Greenwich Village. I must admit, it’s a nickname I’m rather fond of! Because we’ve just met though, you may call me Clara. Anywho, I’ll show you around if you can keep up with me. Come along now! The village is absolutely hopping!”

2nd Image (Tour of Greenwich village–mix of illustration and historical images with sound effects)

4 Comments on “Clara Tice: Drawing Outside of the Lines”

  1. I love your creative ideas for a multimedia portrait of Tice! I wish we could do every biography that way. But I doubt we’d find enough contributors willing and capable of doing this kind of work. Let’s talk to the rest of the class about the idea of putting all the narratives in the first person. If done well, it could be really engaging, but if not, it could be disastrous. Let’s also talk about ways your ideas for bringing Tice to life might be included on our site, possibly in the Suspect Places/New Frequencies area (and possibly with the support of a DRI). My hunch is that for the bio section, we’ll need to strive for a certain amount of consistency. But I’m always open to new ideas!

  2. I love how creative you are. I think the audio “tour,” of sorts, would really liven up what you have put together so far. However, if it came down to keeping it simple and consistent (as Dr. Chill mentioned), I think you could still maintain some sort of visual integration, especially since most of her art (illustrations, graphics, sets) could be better understood/analyzed with pictures than words. One thing I am left wondering (although I know it may be due to lack of available information) was who she was really influenced by/what stronger relationships did she have. Her work sounds different than others we are studying, so I’m curious why. Also, final thing, how did the arthritis and glaucoma serve as a challenge! That must have been really hard for her obviously, but especially as an artist. Otherwise, she sounds very intriguing, and I can’t wait to see what creative things you put together.

  3. Hey Maura! (Or should I say, Clara?)
    What an incredible and innovative approach to this project! You put my encyclopedia-esque biography to shame! A couple thoughts: I know you and Dr. Churchill talked in class about whether Loy and Tice should be considered collaborators and here you mention that they were definitely influencing each other. I think it could be really interesting to do a cross-media analysis looking at themes in Loy’s poetry and Tice’s art and find overlap! Further, I’m wondering, did you find any interviews with Tice (written or recorded) or even famous quotations? It could be cool to try to incorporate those into a first-person narrative (kind of like the ready-made conversations we did!) Tice, like you, sounds like a beautiful soul! Thank you for sharing her life with us!

  4. Maura, you’re proposing some really exciting methods for expressing Tice’s biography here. Your art at the beginning of the piece was a nice introduction to the biographical information you compiled. The image prepared me to engage with Clara Tice as both a historical figure existing within a picture frame, as well as a living, breathing artist looking back at me with an engaging, curious expression.

    Your plan convey the biography an audionarrative is ambitious, but intriguing. Should you follow through with this idea, I would encourage you to split the narrative into several short files, each focusing on a different theme, so that the reader stays engaged. Maybe that was your plan already.

    To continue your multimedia approach, perhaps you could consider including one or two of Tice’s illustrations from The Lost Lunar Baedeker, or have Tice herself describe them in one of the audio files. Even if your final draft ends up becoming a more conventional text biography, I would encourage you to continue playing around with these multimedia ideas in your final project. Well done!

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