Allied Artist

Josephine Ain Chuey
Josephine Ain Chuey was born on December 12, 1916. Her maiden name was Cohen. Her father, David Cohen, was from a rabbinical family in Damascus, Syria. Her mother, Ruth Schimmel was from Austria. Josephine was raised in Ranger, Texas where she lived a rural life with no indoor plumbing. As she was growing up, she bathed in a tin tub. Josephine was the eldest of five children who were all close throughout their lives. She was nine when her family moved to Los Angeles in 1926.She attended Los Angeles High School and Los Angeles City College where she received an AA degree in Theatre. She also spent a semester at UC Berkeley. Josephine was a very accomplished poet, actress, and artist.

   

Josephine began writing profound and sophisticated poetry when she was a young girl. She was one of the finalists in the Yale Younger Poet series in 1952, the year that W.H. Auden judged the contest. The manuscript she submitted was titled “Momentary Mountain”. Her poetry was published in several literary journals, including: Choice, The Colonel, Perspective, Arts Towers Smiling, Epos, Coastlines, Poetry Los Angeles, I, and the book, “Poets of the Non Existent City”. Her poetry was philosophical and inspirational. Josephine also read poetry on the radio for KPFK and KUSC in Los Angeles. Josephine wrote volumes about her experiences on LSD in the 1960s. She was part of an LSD experiment, as was Mel Weisburd. She socialized with Timothy Leary and Alan Watts at her home. Josephine enjoyed painting as well. She attended the Jepson Art Institute and she was included in Women Painters of the 1950’s. Josephine also expressed her talent in the theatre. She helped promote live stage performances at the Vagabond Theatre in Los Angeles.

Josephine was married three times. Her first husband was Gregory Ain. He was an accomplished architect who worked with renowned architect, Richard Neutra. Her second husband was Michael Mark, an actor and director. Finally, Josephine married Robert Chuey, the love of her life. They met while she was modeling for his art class at UCLA. When she modeled, sometimes she would adorn fabulous costumes and sometimes she would model nude. Although Josephine was recognized for her paintings, she supported her husband as the true artist in the family. She commissioned their friend architect Richard Neutra to build an artist’s dream home on the peak of a mountain above the Doheny Estates in Beverly Hills. The largest room in the house is the art studio she built for Bob to create his life’s work. The art studio has floor to ceiling glass windows with 360 degree views of the valley, Downtown Los Angeles, Century City, Catalina, and the ocean from Palos Verdes to Malibu. On a clear night, Josephine and Bob could see the city lights of Los Angeles all the way to Orange County where they disappear into the horizon. What an inspirational setting. Together Josephine and Bob held many poetry and mediation meetings in their home with Bob’s art always featured as the main attraction. Spirituality was a big part of their lives. Josephine and Bob traveled Europe attending lectures by Krishnamurti. After Josephine attended the first talk by Krishnamurti, she commented to Bob, “I’m home”.

One tragic day in 1977, a drunk driver ran a red light near the Hollywood Bowl and crashed into Robert Chuey’s vehicle. He died at the scene. Josephine never remarried or dated after Bob passed away although she had offers. She also refused to sell any of his paintings even though several museums expressed interest.

She devoted the remainder of her life to caring for her pet Shelties. There were 5 in succession, each one lived a full happy life as her close companion, and each dog slept on her bed. It was heart warming to see how tenderly she adored her animals.

Josephine spent much of her 26 widowed years clearing the brush on her mountain top. She worked the hillside exhibiting a tenacious stamina. Up until the age of 86, she would climb the vertical slopes to pull the weeds with her bare hands for 6 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 8 months a year.

Josephine and Bob Chuey were often visited by Tibetan Lamas at their home. A high Lama once described Josephine as “historical”. Those of us who knew her will remember her for being thoughtful, sensitive, and honest and we certainly will never forget her ability to passionately express her opinions.

Josephine passed away in her home at the age of 87 from complications of breast cancer on November 6, 2004 with her loyal Sheltie AmiTaba and her closest family at her bedside singing a chant, “We will love you forever Josie”. When she passed, she was wearing the wedding ring Bob gave her on her finger.

 

Portrait of Bob Chuey
Signed
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in.
253

Untitled
Signed on Back 1971
Oil on canvas
24 x 22 in.
254

Untitled
Signed
Oil on canvas
28 x 24 in.
255

Lilies on the Table
Unsigned
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 in.
256

A13
Signed
Oil on canvas
54 x 40 in.
257

Family Portrait
Signed
Oil on canvas
36 x 48 in.
258

Philodendrins
Unsigned
Oil on canvas
35 x 44 in.
259

Untitled
Signed
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 in.
260

Untitled
Signed 1954
Oil on canvas
48 x 36 in.
261

Portrait of Michael
Signed
Oil on canvas
54 x 38 in.
262

Untitled
Signed
20 x 30 in.
263

 

Untitled
Signed 1977
Oil on canvas
45 x 40 in.
264

The White Chemise
Unsigned
Oil on canvas
34 x 20 in.
265

Portrait of the Artist
Self Portrait of Josephine Chuey
Signed
Oil on canvas
52 x 36 in.
266

Untitled
Signed 1957
Oil on canvas
48 x 56 in.
267

Untitled
Signed 1955
Oil on canvas
50 x 38 in.
268

Portrait of F. H.
Signed 1954
Oil on canvas
50 x 36 in.
269

Woman Reading
Unsigned
Oil on canvas
39 x 50 in.
270

Woman in Blue Hat
Signed 1960
Oil on canvas
50 x 36 in.
271

Portrait of a Painter (R. Chuey)
Unsigned 1952
Oil on canvas
50 x 30 in.
272

Portrait of Robert Chuey
Signed 1969
Oil on canvas
50 x 37 in.
273

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