This is the biography of illustrators Jessie Wilcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Muralist Violet Oakley, who took over the Red Rose Inn, a picturesque estate on Philadelphia's Main Line. They made a pact to live together forever - until one of them created havoc by marrying.
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Alice Carter's The Red Rose Girls traces the lives of three talented artists: Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Violet Oakley. After studying together under the sympathetic guidance of Howard Pyle in Philadelphia, the three (all youngest siblings) decided that they could work best away from the distractions of the city. In 1900, they established their home and studios in a rambling country house called the Red Rose Inn, leading Pyle to dub them the "Red Rose Girls." Strengthened by the emotional support and artistic inspiration that each gave the others, their careers blossomed. Green was a successful illustrator, especially for Harper's Magazine; Smith produced charming portraits of children; and Oakley was famous for huge murals commissioned to decorate state buildings. With their friend Henrietta Cozens acting as "housewife," their unconventional living arrangement attracted much interest, not all of it positive. Carter, a professor at San Jose State University, claims that it freed them from the domestic responsibilities and isolation that could cripple an artist, especially a female artist in pre-emancipated society. For eight years the four led an almost idyllic existence of genteel lifestyle and artistic productivity, but eventually the group disintegrated, with Green's marriage causing an especially painful break. Carter's sympathetic, easy prose perfectly complements the women's idealized art and their uncomplicated belief in the goodness of life. Combining delightful photographs of their domestic lives with examples of their work, The Red Rose Girls re-creates a vanished world of optimism and grace. --John StevensonFrom Publishers Weekly:
Three of the first American women artists to achieve fame and fortune in the Victorian era--Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley--lived unconventional lives marked by a remarkable degree of collaboration. In this fascinating but incomplete study, Carter explores the trio's internecine artistic and romantic relations, sparked during their studies at the renowned Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Smith's idyllic representations of children in her Child's Garden of Verses remain well known. Green's art-nouveau paintings graced the covers of most of the popular magazines of her day, including Collier's and Harper's. Oakley, the youngest of the group, was the first American woman granted serious commissions, including a series of murals for the Pennsylvania State Capitol in 1911. For 17 years, the three committed themselves to each other as "sympathetic companions" and artistic collaborators, sharing a studio in Philadelphia and then an estate, the Red Rose Inn, in Villanova, Pa., where another companion, Henrietta Cozens, served as the "wife" of the household. As the women's fame grew, the press lauded their accomplished m?nage ? quatre (not considered a disgrace in the days when "Boston marriages" were presumed to be asexual). But when Green married at 39 after a seven-year engagement, Oakley's devastation created a scandal and severed the group's artistic partnership. Carter builds a solid foundation but never fully fleshes out the artists or their romantic association, though the exquisite illustrations are worth the price of admission. 115 b&w and 60 color illus. Agent, John Campbell. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Harry N. Abrams, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110810944375
Descripción Harry N. Abrams, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0810944375
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