PEEKSKILL, N.Y.- If Frances Manacher wrote a memoir, she would have a lot of material to work with. And as the first female painter to display work in India, her story is a vital part of art history.
In addition to her accomplishments abroad, she has also exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Passedoit Gallery in New York and the Tirca Karlis Gallery in Mass. There is also a permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York that features her work.
She says mildly, Ive had some interesting life experiences.
Even the 97-year old's apartment at Drum Hill Senior Living Community acts as a virtual scrapbook her paintings hang on the walls, clippings of rave reviews from publications like ARTnews and the New York Times are pressed in an album and reprints of her past work are well-preserved over time.
All of these pieces were bought in shows. I was always well reviewed, she says, sifting through old photographs.
Manacher says she discovered her natural talent as a model in her late teens, when she started sketching for designers.
Then one summer soon after, she was painting in the garden of her Croton vacation home when a neighbor took notice and set her up with an art dealer he knew in New York City.
"Somebody was renting a place nearby and saw my work," Manacher remembered. "I had never thought of showing it in a gallery before."
Now her work is displayed around the world, and she has even given a few of her paintings to the Drum Hill Senior Living Community, where they hang on the walls of the main building. There, she has also put her adventures to countries such as Haiti, Spain and Cuba to paper as part of a writing class she attends.