Virginia Greer Yardley (1878-1971)
A modernist painter from Delaware, she attended Bryn Mawr College and afterwards studied painting at various art schools including the Art Students League in New York (1899, 1921, 1942-1956), and the Academie Colarossi and the Academie Julian schools in Paris. Her instructors included Maurice Sterne, Morris Kantor, Vaclav Vythacil, Kenneth Hayes Miller and Henry Caro-Devaille.
She lived and painted in Europe for nearly 30 years (1912-1941), maintaining various residences in Paris, Dieppe and, during World War I, in London. She knew many of the American expatriates, and other foreign artists and writers living in Europe at the time, including Isadora Duncan, Natalie and Laura Barney, Randolph Hewton and Alan Seegar. After the Germans occupied Paris during World War II, she escaped to America leaving behind much of her artwork.
In the years after World War II, she divided her time between Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and New York City. She was member of the Rehoboth Beach Art League and a close friend of Delaware painters, Ethel Pennewell Brown Leach and Will Leach. Her paintings are in the permanent collection of the Rehoboth Art League and in private collections.
Ms. Yardley appears in several publications:
Doors To History: The Doors of Fame at the Rehoboth Art League by Jann Haynes Gilmore, PH.D. The Rehoboth Art League, 2003.
Almost Forgotten: Delaware Women Artists and Arts Patrons 1900-1950 by Jann Haynes Gilmore, PH.D, Guest Curator. The Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, Delaware, 2002.
Delaware History: Ethel Pennewell Brown Leach: Delaware Artist of Time Place and Season by Jann Haynes Gilmore. Published by the Historical Society of Delaware, 1989-99.
Portrait of a Seductress: The world of Natalie Barney by Jean Chalon. Crown Publishers, New York, 1979, page 110.
Information courtesy of the artists’s great- great nephew, Michael Taylor Prettyman.