Eleanor Evelyn Vaughan Creekmore Dickinson, February 7, 1931 to February 25, 2017. Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson was a powerful artist, dedicated professor, and beloved friend and matriarch. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at home in California on February 25, 2017, just after her 86th birthday. Eleanor built a successful art career on solo shows that boldly depicted those who she called “unpopular and unlikely subjects.” She reveled in transgressing the assumptions of medium, using lucite, black velvet, video, and sky-writing as fine art materials. For all her high-flying passions, Eleanor was deeply rooted. She returned to her birthplace in Knoxville Tennessee nearly every year of her life, and her decades-long work documenting Pentecostal revivals throughout the region is housed at the Smithsonian. Eleanor was a member of the first regular art class at the University of Tennessee, graduating from the program in 1952.
She was recognized nationally in her lifetime with public collections and archives hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress’s Archive of Folk Culture, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Tennessee State Museum, the Oakland Museum, the Huntington’s Archive of American Art, and the University of Tennessee Libraries, among many others. She received a Lifetime Service Award from California Lawyers for the Arts (2016), the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women’s Caucus for Art (2003), and was named an Emerita Professor of Drawing by California College of the Arts after serving as a professor there for 30 years. Throughout her career, she was recognized by being named an Artist-in-Residence at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (2000), Arkansas State University (1993), University of Alaska (1991), and University of Tennessee (1969).