earliest in this suite of biographical documents is headed "Frances
Pratt: Biographical Note" and is typed on the letterhead of Laurel
Gallery, in New York City, on East 57th Street just off Park Avenue.
Although the typescript is undated, it can reasonably be placed in
the brief period of Laurel's operations, 1946 to 1950; it is most
probable that this was prepared for Pratt's one-person exhibition
at the gallery in 1946.
typescript was also altered at least as late as 1949 with handwritten
amendments reflecting her participation in the Corcoran Gallery
of Art Biennial in 1949 and group exhibitions sponsored by the Audubon
Society (1948-1952). It is not known whether these additions were
simply Pratt's notes to herself or if they were updating her participation
in later group exhibitions at Laurel. The former may be more likely,
as the document was not updated to reflect those other Laurel appearances.
It is interesting to note that the updates do not include the publication
of Encaustic Materials and Methods.
the history of the Laurel Gallery was relatively short, it nonetheless
played a not altogether unimportant role in mid-century American
modernism. It was founded in 1946 by Pratt's then-husband, Chris
Ritter, also a painter. Among the first artists seen at the new
gallery were Pratt and, in her first solo exhibition, Grace Borgenicht,
who quickly became a Ritter's partner in gallery operations, and
not merely an exhibiting artist.