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 Frances C Lyons Houston  (1851 - 1906)

About: Frances C Lyons Houston
 

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Lived/Active: Vermont/Michigan      Known for: portrait, figure, views-floral

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BIOGRAPHY for Frances Houston
Facts/Data
Birth
1851 (Hudson, Michigan)
 
Death
1906 (Windsor, Vermont)

Lived/Active
Vermont/Michigan

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portrait, figure, views-floral

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Cornish Colony
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frances C. Lyons Houston was born in Hudson, Michigan in 1851. As a young woman she studied in Paris at the Academie Julian with Jean-Leon Gerome, Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre. Upon her return to America in 1874 she married William C. Houston. Mrs. Houston, primarily a portrait painter, continued to exhibit her work, and she enjoyed favorable reviews in the United States and abroad and received many honors for her paintings.

Her obituary in a Boston newspaper stated, "She was an artist of immense range; her portraits show a rare strength and feeling for character" She was awarded bronze medals at both the Georgia International Exhibition of 1895 and the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo. She also was awarded a medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis in 1904. Mrs. Houston was a member of both the Boston and New York watercolor societies. For her portrait of Cavaliere Francesco Mancini, the Societa Artistica Napolitana elected her its only woman member.

In 1891, the Houstons moved to Cornish, New Hampshire where they quickly became beloved members of the artist colony. Frances Houston entertained regularly at her home, "Crossways," as well as became active in local affairs. She was one of the organizers of the Mothers and Daughters Club in Plainfield, and she helped found the Mothers and Daughters Rug Industry.

Frances Houston painted and exhibited until the year of her death. Her final portrait of Ethel Barrymore, done while both women were in Cornish in 1906 received high praise after her death. Thomas Dewing wrote, " the two qualities that gave distinction to Mrs. Houstons work were undoubtedly her sense of style and her sense of beauty"

Source: "Footprints of the Past" by Virginia Reed Colby and James B. Atkinson







Biography from Cornish Colony Museum:
Born in Hudson, Michigan.  She was in the early vanguard of women artists who studied in Paris.  She entered the prestigious Academie Julien and studied under French masters Jules Joseph Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger.  Her portraits, particularly those of great beauties like her daughter Charlotte Houston Fairchild, Ethel Barrymore, Mrs. Winston Churchill and Lucia Fairchild Fuller were much in demand.

A rare beauty herself, she was painted by Thomas Dewing who convinced her to move to Cornish with her invalid husband.  Mrs. Houston belonged to several prestigious painting societies such as the Boston and New York Water Color Clubs as well as the Boston Society of Artists Club.  Just before her death, she exhibited in Boston’s toney St. Botolph’s Club, a private dining and residential club dedicated to promoting the arts.  She died in Windsor, Vermont in 1906.

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