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 Ellen Maria Carpenter  (1830 - 1909)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Connecticut      Known for: landscape, portrait

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Ad Code: 3
Ellen Maria Carpenter
from Auction House Records.
Mountain Stream
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ellen Carpenter was a popular landscape painter in oil and watercolor and teacher of art in Boston, Massachusetts. She had hundreds of pupils and many close friends including the poet, John Greenleaf Whittier.  Her work can be found in the Bugbee Memorial Library of Danielson, Connecticut; the Boston Grand Lodge of the Masons; and the Marlborough, Massachusetts Public Library.

She was known to have painted in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as well as the South, Pacific Coast, California including Yosemite in the 1870s.  Her paintings such as "A View from Mariposa Trail of the Yosemite Valley" (1870s), "Pleasant Valley on the Merrimach" (sic), and "Lake Amitash in Amesbury" were described as "revealing at times the menacing suggestion of great rivers and of high solitary mountains." (Rubinstein)  Among many commissions of hers were more than 100 watercolor depictions of old homesteads of Marlboro, Massachusetts, and they were used to illustrate a book, "Historical Reminiscences of Marlborough", by Ella Bigelow.

Carpenter was born in Killingly, Connecticut, grew up in that state and Massachusetts, and studied in Worcester, Massachusetts with Thomas Edwards and at the Lowell Institute (beginning 1864) and in Paris with Robert Fleury. She traveled in Europe at various times: 1867, 1873, 1878, and 1889, and also sketched in Egypt and Algiers.

Her birth date is cited in art reference literature as 1830, 1831 and 1836.

Sources include:
American Women Artists, by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein
An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West by Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick.

The following update was provided in June of 2006 by John R. Carpenter a Carpenter Family Genealogist who is a 5th cousin, 4 times removed from the artist.

1) Ellen Maria Carpenter was born 28 Nov 1830 in Killingly, Middlesex, CT of Oliver Carpenter Jr. (b. 1793 CT) and Amy Smith (b. abt 1793 of CT).  She died in Boston, Suffolk, MA.  Ellen is a descendant of William Carpenter (b. 1605 England) the immigrant who settled in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA in 1638.

2) In the 1880 US Federal Census, Ellen was living with her sister Amy Ann (b. 17 Jul 1838 in Killingly) and her husband Alvin A. Walker in Quincy, Norfolk, MA. Alvin’s occupation was listed as a Seller of Artist Material.

Ellen is listed as an Artist in this Census along with Mary B. Gore (b. abt 1844 NH) and is listed as an Artist in Store.  All resided in the same household.
3) Ellen Maria Carpenter was an Abbot Academy teacher from 1877 to 1878 in Andover.

Sources include:
1) A Genealogical  History of the Rehoboth Branch of the Carpenter Family in America.  Also known as the Carpenter Memorial. Published 1898 By Amos B. Carpenter - Press of Carpenter & Morehouse, Amherst, MA.
2)  1880 US Federal Census
3) abbotsacad.html
Historical Sketches of Andover by S. L. Bailey, and A Singular School, by S.M. Lloyd, 1979, pp 39-40


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