Ellen Frances Burpee Farr
(1840 - 1907)
Ellen Frances Burpee Farr was active/lived in California, New Hampshire / Italy. Ellen Farr is known for missions, pepper trees and still life painting.
Following are several short biographical entries.
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.
Submitted by Sandy Coflan Martin, a direct descendant of Ellen Farr
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.
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.
1895, Mrs. Farr purchased an old vineyard there and built a mission
style studio on the property. She painted still life, 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.
World Colombian Exposition, California Building, Chicago, 1893
Washington County Historical Society (Pennsylvania)
Littleton Public Library (New Hampshire)
AV Fine Arts
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 life, 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, she 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 life.
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 life 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.
Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West
Born in New Hampton, NH on Nov. 18, 1840, Ellen Far graduated from the New Hampton Institute and Thetford Academy, and 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 life of poppies and Indian baskets, pepper trees, and views of the missions.
She died while vacationing in Naples, Italy on Jan. 5, 1907.
Boston Art Club
California State Fair, 1890-92;
California Building of the World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893;
Pasadena Art Union, 1896;
Shakespeare Club (LA), 1906.
Littleton (NH) Public Library; Washington County (PA) Historical Society.
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