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"The first thing that I remember was wanting to be an artist. That was before I even went to school… My mother, ugh, she said [after] I was ill a long time: ‘Eve’s ill because she paints too much.’ And Eve said: ‘I’m ill because I don’t paint enough.’… I have to be involved all the time. The day’s wasted when I can’t do some drawing or some painting or something like that." Eve Drewelowe oral history interview, University of Iowa, 1979
Pioneering artist Eve Drewelowe earned the University of Iowa’s first Master’s degree in studio arts in 1924. She married classmate Jacob Van Ek in 1923, but kept a determination to balance her roles as a wife and an artist. After relocating to Boulder for Van Ek’s job as a dean at the University of Colorado, however, she became frustrated by the amount of housework and socializing required by her position as a dean’s wife. A health crisis in the late 1930s led to a rejection of this role and a renewed commitment to her art; Drewelowe returned to using her maiden name and prioritized her personal needs. “I am the person to be pleased and protected,” she wrote in a journal entry from the 1950s. “It matters little what anyone else may say or think, but to have a belief in myself is a fundamental prerequisite to creating.”
Shortly before she died in 1988, Drewelowe donated her entire collection of art and personal papers, including hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, to the University of Iowa. She also left “firm instructions” with the press on how her name should appear in any death notices. According to a profile in Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper, her subject file contained the following note for reporters: ”Eve Drewelowe has made it very clear that she intends to come back and haunt anyone who refers to her as Mrs. Van Ek in her obituary.” http://iowawomensarchives.tumblr.com/post/73445962279/the-first-thing-that-i-remember-was-wanting-to-be