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Ellen Robbins

 (1828 - 1905)
Ellen Robbins was active/lived in Massachusetts.  Ellen Robbins is known for floral studies, coastal views.

Ellen Robbins

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Ellen Robbins
Ellen Robbins earned her artistic reputation as a watercolorist, especially of autumn leaves and flowers.

She attended the New England School of Design in Boston for one year and studied privately with Stephen Tuckerman and at the Merrimac Printworks. She had difficulty finding a teacher of watercolors, so she essentially taught herself to paint with the medium.

Reportedly born in 1828 in Watertown, Massachusetts, (that is not documented-Sternberg), she developed the idea of creating albums of watercolors, which became very popular. She sold her first album for twenty-five dollars. Sculptor Harriet Hosmer, a childhood friend, was among her early collectors.

She was also successful exhibiting her paintings at the Doll and Richards Gallery in Boston.

Since there seemed to be no one else in Boston who taught watercolor classes, Robbins began with seven students and subsequently made a good living with ever growing classes in painting flowers and autumn leaves. She advertised in Boston newspapers: "Miss Robbin's Flower and Autumn Leaf painting Classes". (Falk 2783)

Robbins began painting the extensive flower gardens of poet Celia Thaxter Appledore, the largest of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire in 1850. She traveled to Europe with her sister in 1873 to see both art and flowers, and in 1876, she exhibited her paintings at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

Her wildflower paintings were reproduced by Louis Prang as color lithographs, and they were very popular in England. Henry T. Tuckerman wrote about Robbins in his 1867 "Book of the Artists: American Artist Life." Her work may be found in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum, and Watertown Free Public Library, Massachusetts.

Ellen Robbins died in 1905 in Boston..


Jules and Nancy Heller, "North American Women Artists of the 20th Century"
Paul Sternberg, Sr. "Art by American Women"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

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About  Ellen Robbins

Born:  1828 - Watertown, Massachusetts
Died:   1905 - Boston, Massachusetts
Known for:  floral studies, coastal views