There is no one perfectly defined career path for a photographer. While some artists might consider painting and photography to be more closely related, the two practices have very different histories. Painter Henri Rousseau once said, “I paint what I see; my pictures are my reality.” To that end, McCann steered clear of traditional photojournalism in favor of a life-long artistic pursuit. As such, she was often referred to as “a painter” and not a photographer—an opinion she rejects today. However, when you look at her career chronologically, it’s apparent that she has been painting her whole life. Louise Jean McCann was born on September 10th, 1899 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Harriet (née Moeller) and Edward McCann. Her father was a department store magnate and construction company tycoon; her mother was an aspiring artist who fell into poverty after her husband’s death from tuberculosis fourteen years earlier. Both parents were creative homebodies who enjoyed creating art at home: Harriet painted watercolors and Edward favored oil sketches over photographs. The McCann family also had rooms filled with vibrant artwork from various members of the extended clan: grandparents (including Eleanor Roosevelt), uncles, cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews all sat for portraits over the years. The oldest child in the family by 17 years at age forty-five, Louise grew up with plenty of opportunities that would have given anyone a window into an

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

Louise jean mccary was born on September 10th, 1899 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Harriet (née Moeller) and Edward McCann. Her father was a department store magnate and construction company tycoon; her mother was an aspiring artist who fell into poverty after her husband’s death from tuberculosis fourteen years earlier. Both parents were creative homebodies who enjoyed creating art at home: Harriet painted watercolors and Edward favors oil sketches over photographs. The McCann family also had rooms filled with vibrant artwork from various members of the extended clan: grandparents (including Eleanor Roosevelt), uncles, cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews all sat for portraits over the years. The oldest child in the family by 17 years at age 40, Louise grew up with plenty of opportunities that would have given anyone a window into an artistic world. At age 16, she enrolled in Art Institute of Chicago’s summer course and traveled to Europe with a group of classmates in 1919. In that year’s term, she also enrolled in the Royal Academy’s optional Advanced Course in London.

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

While she credits her father with introducing her to the visual arts, her own aesthetic developed over time—and in part due to her experience as a photographer. By the time she was 21, she had begun freelancing for magazines like 1946’s Harper’s Bazaar and Life, where she photographed celebrities and scenes from everyday life. Her work appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, and The Sun.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

The exhibition catalog

Photographer Louise Jean McCann, circa 1950.

“I’ve always loved art”

“You can’t judge by photographs”

Her grandmother was a famous French Impressionist

“Paintings are my medium”

What she says sets her apart from other artists

The last word: A life well lived

The Pierre Sagall exhibition

The sale of her paintings

Her work at auction

Her legacy

Appendixes: Personal experiences

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