Agnes Tait (1894–1981, American)

Agnes Tait with CatAgnes Tait (1894–1981, American) was born in Greenwich Village, New York City and attended the National Academy of Design and studied lithography at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She became a painter, pen-and-ink artist, lithographer, book illustrator, muralist and dancer.

By 1915, Tait was exhibiting her works at the Art Institute of Chicago and other venues. On the eve of her rise in popularity, the Great Depression struck and interest in art diminished. During the 30’s she traveled to Jamaica and Haiti, and her works during this time period reflect the influence of the tropical landscape. While employed by the government sponsored Public Works Art Project, Tait produced perhaps her most famous work, Skating in Central Park. As an illustrator Tait worked on three children’s books: Peter and Penny of the Island, Heide, and Paco’s Miracle.

In 1941, Tait moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico owing to the poor health of her husband, William McNulty. She lived the rest of her life in Sante Fe where the Southwestern landscapes influenced her art. Tait survived by taking commissions for portraits and murals, many of which can be seen in local businesses.

A cat lover, her works primarily include Siamese cats. Her first lithographs of cats were completed in the 20’s with the majority being done in the 40’s-70’s in Sante Fe.



Agnes Tait, Felicity, 1936, cat art

Felicity, 1936




Agnes Tait, Two Siamese cats

Two Siamese




Cat by Waterside, Agnes Tait

Cat by Waterside




Cats' Corner, 1940, Agnes Tait

Cats’ Corner, 1940



Kitten and Falling Leaves, Agnes Tait

Kitten and Falling Leaves




Night Music, 1940, Agnes Tait

Night Music, 1940




Nude with Cats, Agnes Tait

Nude with Cats




The Aristocrat, 1936 Agnes Tait

The Aristocrat, 1936




The Dress Shop, Agnes Tait cats in art

The Dress Shop



The Old Friend, Agnes Tait, cats in art

The Old Friend




The Sailor's Cats, lithograph - Agnes Tait

The Sailor’s Cats




Two Siamese Cats, Agnes Tait

Two Siamese Cats



Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature?  Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats





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