I've probably got more illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green than of her teacher and mentor, Howard Pyle [see archives for December 2004 and January 2005], so please bear with me as these posts continue and I document some of her remarkable career with scans of her work that appeared in the magazines of 100 years ago, give or take a decade or two. She was as prolific as any of her contemporaries and she lived a long, full life. Click on the images to enlarge them.
This photograph is entitled Elizabeth Shippen Green in her studio at the Red Rose Inn, circa 1903, and is in the papers of Violet Oakley in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution. Elizabeth was born into an old Philadelphia (PA) family and encouraged to pursue her interest in art by her father, who had been an illustrator-correspondent in the U.S. Civil War. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art from 1889 to 1893 under notables teachers such as Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz. While studying with Howard Pyle at Drexel Institute in 1894, she met Jessie Willcox Smith and Violet Oakley. They became good friends and shared a house they called the Red Rose Inn at Villanova (PA) in 1901.
Green worked in charcoal, and after fixing it with a thin and workable varnish spray applied watercolor in glazes. The face of this little girl, which I have lightened in Adobe Photoshop, suffered from the poor quality of four-color process reproduction in the early years. This appeared in Harper's Monthly Magazine for December 1903.
This illustration appeared in Harper's Monthly Magazine a year later in December 1904 and was reproduced in sepia without additional color. The title is "In the Chair of Judgment." There is a credit to the engraver, A. Hayman, which leads me to speculate that Green may have insisted that a specialist be entrusted with reproducing her work after the prior muddy results.
This appeared in Harper's Monthly Magazine as part of a spread in one of their 1905 issues and it seems to be a much cleaner reproduction.
These are still muddy and we can only imagine Green's frustration. One of the series is not shown because it has been printed so much out-of-register. The spread appeared in Harper's Monthly Magazine for August 1905.
Below, the title page of a spread in Harper's Monthly Magazine for December 1905 was no improvement in quality of print production. I've taken the liberty of lightening up the scan in Adobe Photoshop.
Next: More Elizabeth Shippen Green.