Born in the Indian Mission of La Pointe, WI on Oct. 21, 1842. The Sproat family sailed around the Horn to San Francisco in 1854. At 17 Elvira married 39-year-old James Hutchings, a journalist and founder of Hutchings' Illustrated California Magazine. The couple moved to Yosemite in 1864 and established the Hutchings Hotel there. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1875. During the years spent in Yosemite with her husband, she painted many watercolors of that area; however, most of her works were lost in the 1906 fire in San Francisco. She died at her daughter's home in Waitsfield, VT on April 24, 1917.
Exh: Calif. State Fair, 1889.
Works held in Public Places: Yosemite Museum.
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"Artists of the American West
(Doris Dawdy); Women Artists of the American West
; Berkeley Daily Gazette, 10-20-1941.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