National Museum of Women in the Arts
Céline Marie Tabary
July 29 1908 - May 23 1993
Photograph of Céline Marie Tabary, unknown date, unknown photographer. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA. Library and Research Center, Archives on Women Artists
Place of Birth:
American, French
Phonetic Spelling:
say-leen mah-ree tab-ah-ree
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Active Dates:
circa 1940 - circa 1959
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting
Artistic Role(s):
Designer, Illustrator, Landscape Painter, Oil Painter, Painter, Watercolorist
Artist's Biography:
Céline Marie Tabary was born in 1908 in Vermelles, France. The daughter of an architect, Tabary became interested in drawing and painting at an early age. In 1937, she attended the Académie Chauler Beat-Ozeel in Lille and from 1937 to 1938 continued her studies at the Académie Julian in Paris. Working in the Impressionist style, Tabary painted landscapes and café scenes in France preferring to capture her subjects by painting on location. While in Paris, she became acquainted with African-American artist Lois Mailou Jones with whom she remained friends throughout her life. In 1938 and 1939, Tabary exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. She also collaborated with French artists Paul Eachbach and Maurice Decamps for some of her landscape works.

In December of 1938, Tabary left France for what she intended to be a short visit to the United States. With the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Tabary was unable to leave and settled in Washington, DC, where she spent the next seven years.

In the United States she continued painting landscapes and city scenes including a series of Impressionist paintings of New England and Old Georgetown. Tabary began spending much of her time teaching children’s classes in the arts and in 1945 was appointed to the Art Faculty of Howard University. During her stay in Washington, DC, Tabary became more established as an exhibiting artist, showing her watercolors and oil paintings in a number of venues including the Corcoran Gallery and Whyte Gallery. In 1944, she was awarded the Landscape Prize at the National Museum.

Although the end of the war provided Tabary with the opportunity to return to France, she remained in Washington, DC, traveling to France each summer to paint the familiar landscape of her home. During the 1950s, she became a member of the Washington Watercolor Club and the Washington Society of Artists and continued to exhibit widely.

Tabary spent her final years in France where she died in 1993.

Other Occupation(s):
Educator, Teacher
Place(s) of Residence:
Place(s) of Activity:
Where Trained/Schools:
Académie Julian, Paris, France (1937-1938) Académie Chauler Beat-Ozeel, Lille, France (1937)
Related Visual Artists:
friend of Lois Mailou Jones friend of Émile Bernard friend of Alma Woodsey Thomas collaborated with Paul Eachbach collaborated with Maurice Decamps
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Landscape Prize, National Museum, Washington, DC, USA (1944)
Earliest exhibition:
Le Salon des Artistes Français, Paris, France (1938-1939)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987-1997
Related places
Cabris (died at)