Lucretia Ayres Donnell
Born in a covered wagon on a ranch near Blanket, Texas on February 7, 1893. Lucretia Ayers Donnell’s parents were Anna Robison Ayers and Reverend William L. Ayers, a Baptist minister who had come from Georgia. About 1910 she attended Baylor Female College (later to become the University of Mary Hardin Baylor) in Belton, Texas where she majored in Fine Arts.
After her first year at Baylor she won a scholarship in Art and served as the assistant to the Art professor for three years. In 1912 she won the “Gold Medal Award” for her original designs: and was named a full professor of the Art Department.
After graduation she married Earl Roe Donnell and they had two children, the future artist Lucretia Donnell and Earl Roe Donnell, II. who became a Fighter Pilot off the U.S.S. Enterprise in World War II.
The family moved to Dallas, Texas about 1924 where Lucretia studied life drawing under John Knott, still life under Frank Klepper and Martha Simpkins, and Frank Reaugh, who opened up the world of painting outdoors for her when she studied with him. Her studies were advanced greatly by joining his artist group on annual sketch trips.
Several summers in Taos, New Mexico, she studied under Oscar Berninghaus, Ernest Blumenschein, and Frederick Becker. She had several weeks of winter classes at the Chicago Art Institute. Lucretia also traveled to California to study under Robert Wood, whose studio was on the Pacific Ocean.
After taking woodcarving from Strohmeyer in Dallas Lucretia learned to carve designs on pictures frames, as well as tables and mirror frames.
She also studied china painting in Europe traveling in her car to see all the fine porcelain plants from those behind the Iron Curtain, to Germany, France and Ireland.
For 45 years she taught oil painting and fine china painting in her large University Park studio.
Mainly through Lucretia Donnell’s hard work the China Painting Teachers of Texas was formed and she served as its first president for two years 1958 – 1959. She became one of the founders of the National China Painting Teacher’s Organization which was later known as International Porcelain Artists and Teachers, and which counts its membership in the thousands.
During one of its conventions Jessie Davis, an artist, and parliamentarian of the N.C.P.T.O. presented her with a gold medallion engraved with its official emblem and a life membership