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ANNIE LEE ART GALLERY

Annie Frances Lee is well known for her unique ability to celebrate African-American culture particularly with humor. She has established herself internationally not only as an artist, but a respected and business savvy entrepreneur. Her noted ability to convey feelings through the faceless subjects of her paintings has won her a place in history as one of the icons of African-American art. “My paintings are of everyday life. I try to paint things that people can identify with,” Lee says.

Born in Gadsden, Ala. in 1935 and raised in Chicago, Lee began painting at age 10 in elementary school, where she won her first art contest and received a free semester of study at the Art Institute of Chicago. She continued honing her artistic skills resulting in a four-year scholarship to Northwestern University. However, she chose marriage and raising a family over attending school. Lee did not resume painting until she was 40 years old. By then, she had lost two husbands to cancer and raised a daughter from her first marriage and a son from her second. While working as the chief clerk at Northwestern Railroad, Annie studied art at night, eventually earning a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Art from Loyola University. Painting at night was Lee’s haven and release from the pressures of everyday life. Her railroad job inspired one of Lee’s most popular paintings, “Blue Monday,” which depicts a woman struggling to pull herself out of bed on a Monday morning. Living in such close proximity to her art caused new challenges for Lee. She developed tendinitis and spinal problems from painting so much. Even worse, the fumes from the acrylic paints she used made her sick. Despite these problems, she continued to paint, having her first gallery show in 1985. The show was so successful that Lee allowed prints to be made of four of the paintings, so that she could meet the demand for her work.

A hallmark of Lee’s work is that the figures she paints are faceless. “You don’t need to see a face to understand emotion,” Lee explained. “I try to make the movement of the body express the emotion. And people can use their imaginations.” Annie Lee's art has been used as decorations for television and movie sets such as “A Different World”, “227,” “Coming to America,” “Boomerang” and “Barber Shop.” Annie Lee passed away in 2014.

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Fifth Grade Substitute by Annie Lee The Family That Prays Together by Annie Lee This print depicts a boy and a girl playing hoops with a makeshift basket Al Ain't Here by Annie Lee
5th Grade Substitute
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A Family That Prays Together
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A Future President and His First Lady
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Al Ain't Here
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All That Glitters by Annie Lee At Ease print depicts a group of Buffalo Soldier taking a break from battle to rest Blue Monday by Annie Lee Blues Highway by Annie Lee
All That Glitters
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At Ease
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Blue Monday
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Blues Highway
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Open Edition Print
Burn You Baby? by Annie Lee Buster by Annie Lee Come Under de Brella by Annie Lee Compliments to the Cook
Burn You Baby?
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Buster
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Come Under de Brella
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Compliments to the Cook
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Open Edition Print Mini Print Open Edition Print Open Edition Print
Daily Snooze by Annie Lee Dance Marathon by Annie Lee Extensions by Annie Lee Final Red Tag Sale by Annie Lee
Daily Snooze
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Dance Marathon
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Extensions
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Final Red Tag Sale
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Fish Heads by Annie Lee Full Set or Fill-In by Annie Lee Gramma's Hands by Annie Lee In Control by Annie Lee
Fish Heads
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Full Set or Fill-In
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In Control
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Mini Print Open Edition Print Limited Edition Giclee on Paper
Open Edition Print
Is it Just Me by Annie Lee Jammin' da Chute by Annie Lee Links Tips Wings and Fries by Annie Lee Love Song by Annie Lee
Is it Just Me
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Jammin' da Chute
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Links Tips Wings and Fries
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Love Song
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Mama Queen by Annie Lee Mama Queen by Annie Lee Mississippi Samsonite by Annie Lee Mitch by Annie Lee
Mama Queen
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Mississippi Samsonite
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Open Edition Print Limited Edition Giclee on Paper
Open Edition Print Mini Print
My Cup Runneth Over by Annie Lee My Cup Runneth Over by Annie Lee Out the Back Door by Annie Lee Over Easy by Annie Lee
My Cup Runneth Over
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Out the Back Door
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Over Easy
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Limited Edition Giclee on Paper
Open Edition Print
Mini Print Mini Print
Overheated by Annie Lee Passion by Annie Lee Pay the Rent Quarter Party by Annie Lee Power Shopping by Annie Lee
Overheated
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Passion
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Pay the Rent Quarter Party
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Preach On by Annie Lee Put Some Skirt on the Cards by Annie Lee Rebirth by Annie Lee Red Alert Power Surge by Annie Lee
Preach On
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Put Some Skirt on the Cards
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Rebirth
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Red Alert Power Surge
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