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Louis Bouché papers, 1880-2007

Biographical Note

Louis Bouché (1896-1969) was a painter, muralist, and educator who lived and worked in New York City.
Bouché was born in New York City to Henri and Marie Bouché. His father was an interior designer who worked with Stanford White and for Tiffany, and his grandfather, Ernest Louis Bouché, was a Barbizon school painter. After his father's death in 1909, his mother moved the family to Paris where Bouché attended art school at La Grand Chaumère. When the family moved back to America in 1915, Bouché enrolled at the Art Students League where he met fellow student and lifelong friend Alexander Brook. In 1916, Bouché was invited to become a member of Walt Kuhn's Penguin Club, and in 1918, he joined the stable of Charlie Daniel's Daniel Gallery. At this time, Bouché began exhibiting in shows organized by Julianna Force for the Whitney Studio Club, which later evolved into the Whitney Museum. In 1920, he was introduced to the Woodstock artist community and was a frequent summer resident at the colony.
Bouché met Marian Wright while they were both members of the Penguin Club, and they were married in 1921. Upon returning from their honeymoon, Bouché accepted a position managing exhibitions for Wanamaker's Belmaison Galleries, the first modern art gallery in a department store in New York. Their daughter Jane would later marry William Pène du Bois, son of Guy Pène du Bois, whom the Bouchés had known from their days in the Penguin Club. In 1926, Bouché separated from Wanamaker's and began taking commissions for mural and design work, eventually completing murals for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Radio City Music Hall, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. In addition to murals, Bouché did illustrative advertising work for various publications, including Condé Nast and Town and Country.
In 1936, Bouché joined the stable at Kraushaar Gallery, where he eventually exhibited a series of ten one-man shows. Bouché also held solo exhibitons at the Valentine Gallery, Staten Island Institute, Century Association, and Albany Institute. Beginning in 1943, Bouché taught for many years at the Art Students League and began teaching at the National Academy of Design in 1951. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1936 and was the American Academy in Rome's artist in residence in 1960.
Louis Bouché died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on August 7, 1969.