Anita Willets Burnham
American, 1880 - 1958
Signed and dated Anita Willets 1904, lower right
Anita Willets Burnham was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1880, but was raised in Chicago.
She studied at The Art Institute of Chicago and at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.
Burnham was an independent spirit, who agonized about having a marriage and children over an art career. Burnham once said,"When Dad [husband Alfred] popped the question and I had to decide whether to continue my art career or marry him, he startled me by saying, 'Why can't you have a baby and paint one, too?” Neighbors often reported that she often dropped-off her four children, in order to capture a beautiful sunset on canvas, but was generous with a sketch of a thank you or hostess gift.
Burnham was an instructor at The Art Institute of Chicago.
The family traveled all over the world from Paris to Algiers to Florence, Seoul, Cairo, Athens, and Belgium. Burnham wrote a 1933 book about their adventures called, "Round the World on a Penny".
In 1958, Burnham died in Winnetka, IL at the age of 77.