Barbara Poe-Levee Reis, born on March 14, 1922, in New York City, was a talented artist whose work was featured in several notable exhibitions, such as the 1942 Surrealist Show in New York, organized by Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton. Despite her undeniable talent, her artistic career was often overshadowed by her parents' accomplishments as art collectors, patrons, and advisors.
Poe-Levee began her education at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York before attending the International School of Geneva in Switzerland. Her artistic journey took shape under the mentorship of Kurt Seligman, with whom she studied painting.
Poe-Levee’s social circle included prominent figures such as Walter and Louise Arensberg, Vincent Price, Fanny Brice, and Edward G. Robinson. With these connections, she became involved in the founding of the Institute of Art in Beverly Hills and participated in organizing the first show of contemporary art open to the public at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, where they’d since moved.
In 1943, she married James Poe, and they had two children, Lorna and Adam. They continued the tradition of their parents by opening their Los Angeles home to benefit the Junior Art Council of LACMA's Art and Architecture tour.
Poe-Levee’s] piece "The Enchanted Bull" (1942) was included in the Exhibition by 31 Women, though its medium and whereabouts are unknown today. She continued to show her work in New York City from the 1940s through the late 1970s.
Barbara Poe-Levee Reis passed away on September 13, 2013, in Los Angeles, CA. She played a role in shaping the artistic landscape of her time. Today, further information about her life and work can be found in her parents' archives at the Archives of American Art in Washington, DC.
Follow @the31women on social media!