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 Harriet "Hattie" Foster Beecher  (1854 - 1915)



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Lived/Active: California/Washington/Indiana      Known for: portrait, landscape, still life

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BIOGRAPHY for Harriet "Hattie" Beecher
1854 (Mishawaka, Indiana)
1915 (near Allentown, Washington)


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portrait, landscape, still life

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Harriet "Harriet" Foster Beecher was born in Mishawaka, IN on Nov. 12, 1854.  "Hattie" Foster was raised in South Bend and educated at St Mary's Academy there.  After moving to San Francisco in 1875, she studied at the School of Design under Virgil Williams and privately with Oscar Kunath.  In 1881 she married  Captain Henry Ward Beecher and moved to Washington.  Although Seattle and Port Townsend were her homes after that time, she made many trips to California to visit her mother and daughter and exhibit with the San Francisco Art Association. 

In 1915 she was one of few women artists selected to serve on the Panama Pacific International Exposition Advisory Committee for the West.  Mrs. Beecher died near Allentown, WA on March 30, 1915.  Her paintings of Washington pioneers and the local Indians are characterized by a loose, Impressionist style.

Exhibited: World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago), 1893; Mark Hopkins Institute, 1898, 1903; San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1900. 

Works held:  Bancroft Library (UC Berkeley).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Bancroft Library; Women Artists of the American West; Women Artists in the American West; 1860-1960.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
One of the best art educated of the early women artists painting in the Northwest, she was a native of Indiana and in 1881 established what was said to be the first art studio in Seattle. She had studied at St. Mary's Academy in South Bend, Indiana, and at the San Francisco School of Design.

She married Herbert Foote Beecher and settled in Washington state where she raised three children, painted, taught art, and was also active in music and literary activities. Many wives of prominent men were her art students. Her own paintings were primarily portraits that included the pioneer Ezra Meeker and some of the Clallam and Makah Indians of the Port Townsend area. Her style was loose and impressionistic, and they were exhibited at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893.

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