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 Ellen Frances Burpee Farr  (1840 - 1907)

About: Ellen Frances Burpee Farr
 

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Lived/Active: California/New Hampshire / Italy      Known for: still life, mission garden, Indian

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BIOGRAPHY for Ellen Frances Burpee Farr
Facts/Data
Birth
1840 (New Hampton, New Hampshire)
 
Death
1907 (Naples, Italy)

Lived/Active
California/New Hampshire / Italy

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still life, mission garden, Indian

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New Hampton, New Hampshire, Ellen Farr became a resident of Pasadena, California in 1895 and was one of the early women artists in the West. She painted many canvases of missions, pepper trees and still lifes, and her paintings found ready markets in the United States and abroad.

She was a graduate of the New Hampton Institute and Thetford Academy, and in 1861, married Evarts Farr, who became a U.S. Congressman. After his death, she had a studio in Boston from 1883 to 1887, and painted florals and other still lifes. Examples of her work from this period are in the Littleton Public Library in New Hampshire. In 1887, she went to California and began the most productive period of her career. In Pasadena, she bought an old vineyard and built a mission style studio on the property .

In California, she painted many canvases that included missions, pepper trees, and still lifes of Native American baskets, fish, game, and florals, and her work found a wide market. She became one of Pasadena's most prominent artists. She died in Naples, Italy where she had gone for her health and where she only lived for five weeks.

Source: "An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West" by Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick
_________________________________________________________________________________
Note:
The following is from Sandy Coflan Martin, a direct descendant of Ellen Farr.

The circumstances of her death were very unusual. She went to Italy to see the great works of art there and she died while in Italy. At first, her coffin was loaded on board a ship to come home, but the sailors were superstitious and refused to go with a dead person on board. Someone had a bright idea and they put the coffin inside a large crate marked "sculptures" and then loaded it back onto the same ship. It worked, and her body was returned to her native USA.

Some of Ellen's work is on permanent display in various town buildings in Littleton, New Hampshire. Her husband, Everts Farr was a native of that town, and Ellen lived there for several years. Everts Farr was a Civil War hero and later a US Congressman, Republican, New Hampshire.

My sister, Susan Luca, adds this to the Ellen Farr story:
When Ellen went to Italy, she was planning on living there for several
years. She even mortgaged her house in California to finance the extended
stay.
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Ellen Burpee Farr born in New Hampton, New Hampshire in 1840. After graduating from the New Hampton Institute and Thetford Academy, she married E. W. Farr in 1861. After the death of her husband she had a studio in Boston until the early 1880's when she moved to southern California. Mrs. Farr bought an old vineyard in 1895 after settling in Pasadena and building a mission style studio on the property where she painted still life subjects and scenes of the missions.

Source: Charles Vogel
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ellen Burpee Farr was born in New Hampton, New Hampshire in 1840. She married E. W. Farr in 1861, after graduating from the New Hampton Art Institute and Thetford Academy. After the untimely death of her husband, she kept her studio in Boston for a while, but, in the early 1880s, decided to move to Southern California where she eventually settled in Pasadena.

In 1895, Mrs. Farr purchased an old vineyard there and built a mission style studio on the property. She painted still lifes, portraits and studies of local Indians, and California mission scenes. She became one of the earliest female artists to paint Western subjects.

She died in 1907 while on a trip to Italy.

Exhibited:
World Colombian Exposition, California Building, Chicago, 1893

Works Held:
Washington County Historical Society (Pennsylvania)
Littleton Public Library (New Hampshire)

Source: AV Fine Arts





This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New Hampton, NH on Nov. 18, 1840. After graduating from the New Hampton Institute and Thetford Academy, Ellen wed Evarts W. Farr in 1861. After the death of her husband, a Civil War hero, she had a studio in Boston until 1887 when she moved to southern California. Invited by the manager of the Raymond Hotel to open a studio on the premises, Mrs. Farr settled in Pasadena. She later bought an old vineyard and built a Mission Style studio on the property where she painted still lifes of poppies and Indian baskets, pepper trees, and views of the missions. She died while vacationing in Naples, Italy on Jan. 5, 1907. Member: Boston Art Club. Exh: Calif. State Fair, 1890-92; Calif. Bldg, World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893; Pasadena Art Union, 1896; Shakespeare Club (LA), 1906. In: Littleton (NH) Public Library; Washington Co. (PA) Historical Society.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Women Artists of the American West; Pasadena Daily News, 1-8-1907 (obituary).
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.

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