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Bernice West Beyers papers, 1912-1987

Biographical Note

Berenice West Byers (1906-1987)worked as as sculptor in the New York and New England area. Later in life, she became a patron of the arts in Dallas, Texas.
Bernice Delemar West was born on April 26, 1906 in New York City, the daughter of Abigail Palmer and E. Lovette West, an engineer. In 1925 she graduated from the Bennett School in Millbrook, New York, where she took diplomas in both drama and fine arts. After a summer trip to Europe with classmates, she spent the next year studying drama with Winifred Lenihan at the Theatre Guild. In the summer of 1926, she did summer stock in Binghamton as a member of Actors Equity. In 1927 she began to pursue a career in sculpture and pottery.
She first worked in the studio of Lu Duble, her former teacher at the Bennett School. From 1927 to 1929, she also studied under Alexander Archipenko, Edmond R. Amateis, and Winold Reiss. In the fall of 1929, West began studies at the Art Students League under William Zorach.
Beginning in 1934, she exhibited primarily in New England and Florida. She was later influenced by the Haitian and Mayan art work she encountered while on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937-1938.
West was married in March 1940 to Robert Arthur Beyers, and their family moved permanently to Dallas, Texas, where they were primarily patrons of the arts.
Bernice West Beyers died in 1987.