Lotta Lyons Grow, nicknamed "Lottie," was born on July 22, 1884, in Hymera, a small town in Sullivan County, Indiana. Her father was a farmer, her mother a homemaker. Lottie graduated from Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, in 1904 and taught high school in Hymera for five years. She also attended the Herron School of Art and Marian College, both in Indianapolis, and the St. Louis Art Institute. In 1910 Lottie married Walter Smith Grow (1880-?), an osteopathic physician, and afterwards lived in Indianapolis. In 1911, a month after their daughter Bernadine was born, the Grows set off for South America, returning in 1912. Tragedy struck the Grow family in 1932 when Bernadine, a student in Chicago, died at age twenty. I don't wonder that biographical details are missing from the life of Lottie Lyons Grow for the following half decade.
From 1937 to 1944, Lottie wrote a column for Indiana Club Women, and from 1938 to 1946 for Art Digest. She also contributed to News Week. She is supposed to have been the first in Indiana to give art programs on radio and television. During World War II, she served in hospitals in the Pacific Theater and promoted art therapy for wounded servicemen. Like so many Hoosier artists, Lottie painted and sketched in the hills of Brown County south of Indianapolis, where she kept a studio. She also exhibited in the Hoosier Salon. A painter and graphic artist, Lottie created landscapes, floral paintings, and etchings. She also authored three books, at least one of which she illustrated herself. They were: Cameos of Deer-Lick in Brown County Hills (1957), Over the Split-Rail Fence (1971, illustrated by the author), and Beckoning Trails (1979).
Lottie Lyons Grow lived for nearly a century and passed away on November 2, 1981, in Wabash, Indiana. She was ninety-seven years old.
Three works by Indiana artist Lottie Lyons Grow (1884-1981).
Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley