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Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell

 (1859 - 1946)
Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell was active/lived in Colorado, Illinois.  Henrietta Bromwell is known for landscape and mountain view painting.

Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell

Biography from the Archives of askART

Bromwell, Henrietta Elizabeth
(1859 Charleston, Illinois-1946 Denver, Colorado)

Also known as Elisabeth Henrietta Bromwell

Oil and watercolor painter of landscapes, mountains and other travel scenes, Henrietta Bromwell was a Colorado artist who participated in the two major exhibitions of early Omaha: The Trans-Mississippi International Exposition of 1898, and the 1899 Greater America Exposition. Her painting, The White City by the Missouri, reflected her time in Omaha in 1898.  

Henrietta’s most active years as a painter were the early 1890s to about 1905. She traveled to the Southwest including Texas, and to Mexico, and her paintings from those trips included A Street Market, Juarez; Old Street in Santa Fe, and Near Long’s Peak. In Colorado, she was a founder in 1893 of the Artist’s Club of Denver, the precursor to the Denver Art Museum, and she hung work in Club shows for about ten years beginning 1894. She exhibited with that Club and also with the American Watercolor Society, Camera Club of Denver, Art Institute of Chicago, and Philadelphia Art Club.

An ongoing positive factor in Henrietta’s life was her father, Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell (1823-1903), an attorney, member of U.S. Congress from Illinois, poet and prominent Freemason, who served as Honorary Grand Master of Colorado. He was a strong advocate for women’s independence including the right to vote, and sought the best of educational opportunities for Henrietta including enrollment in Denver in Wolfe Hall Episcopal School, dedicated to excellence and co-education.

Until his death in 1903, Henrietta and her father lived together as survivors of compounded family tragedy, which began in 1865 in Illinois when Henrietta was age six. Her mother, Elizabeth Emily (nee Payne) Bromwell, and a one-year old sister died. Four years later, Henry Bromwell finished his term in Congress and took Henrietta and her older brother, Henry, to Denver where Henry died at age 19 in 1881.

Henrietta, however, lived eighty-seven years, dying on January 8, 1946 at age 87. Her artwork work is in the Colorado Historical Society and the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library.

"Henrietta Bromwell Papers," Denver Public Library Encoded Archival Description, Web, Jun. 2014

“Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell,”, Jun. 2014

Kovinick, Phil and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, p. 32, Print

Trenton, Patricia and Jody Kinsey, Independent Spirits, p. 213, Print

Researched, written, and copyrighted by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier,
Museum of Nebraska Art Project:
Their Place, Their Time: Women Artists in Nebraska, 1820s-1940s

Biography from the Archives of askART
Painter Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell was born in 1859 in Charleston, Illinois. She moved, in 1870, to Colorado with her father and brother, her mother and sister having died in 1865. Bromwell was an early graduate of Wolff Hall, a girls' school in Denver, the city with which she would thereafter be identified.

Though she listed herself as an artist into the 1930s in city directories of Denver, she seems to have had multiple responsibilities and interests that may have taken her away from a complete dedication to painting. In addition, she was a woman, with the limitations placed on women in that era. Substantial time was no doubt spent caring for her father until his death in 1903.

And, she was a writer and researcher, interested in her family genealogy and, understandably, women's suffrage, actively participating in groups such as the Territorial Daughters of Colorado; Colorado Equal Suffrage Association; the Baltimore Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and the Maryland Historical Society. Bromwell illustrated several articles she wrote in 1893 for the Coloradan; and she published The Bromwell Genealogy in 1910.

In another of her civic duties, she was instrumental in the creation of the Denver Art Museum, having been one of the organizers of its precursor, the Artist's Club of Denver, in December 1893, where she exhibited until early in the new century.

Henrietta Bromwell drew and painted, in oil and watercolor, the landscape of Colorado, and views resulting from painting trips to Mexico, New Mexico and Nebraska. She painted Pike's Peak in Colorado; street scenes in Santa Fe, New Mexico; market scenes in Juarez, Mexico; and landscapes near the Missouri River.

Active as an exhibiting artist for little more than a decade, from the early 1890s to around 1905, Bromwell, in keeping with her feminist interests, showed with the short-lived Le Brun Club, in Denver, a group of women artists.

She also exhibited on a national level at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia Art Club, Pennsylvania; American Watercolor Society, New York City; and at expositions like the Great American Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska; and the Trans-America and International Exposition, also in Omaha.

Bromwell's work is in the collections of the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library; and the Colorado Historical Society, in Denver.

Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell died in Denver on January 8, 1946.

Phil and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, Women Artists of the American West

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About  Henrietta Elizabeth Bromwell

Born:  1859 - Charleston, Illinois
Died:   1946 - Denver, Colorado
Known for:  landscape and mountain view painting