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 Lucia Fairchild Fuller  (1872 - 1924)

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Lived/Active: New York/New Hampshire/Wisconsin      Known for: figure-child, portrait, miniature

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Lucia Fuller was one of a small group that revitalized the declining art of miniature painting during the Gilded Age. Although she chose to work as a "painter in little," Fuller was quite capable of creating large-scale works, and was one of several women asked to create murals for the Womans Building of the Worlds Columbian Exposition of Chicago, in 1893.

Fullers grandfather was the first mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and her uncle was governor of Wisconsin. She began her art career at the Cowles Art School in Boston, studying with Dennis Bunker, a follower of John Singer Sargent. In 1889, she studied in New York with William Merritt Chase and H. Siddons Mowbray, a well-known muralist. Chase introduced her to Whistlerian concepts of design and Japonaiserie, and Mowbray gave her a sound foundation in figure drawing (as exemplified by Fullers Girl Drying Her Foot (c. 1900)).

In 1893, she married Henry Brown Fuller, a fellow art student at Cowles Art School. He became a respected artist, but Lucia Fuller became even more widely known for her talent and originality. The Fullers had two children, but eventually separated due in part to his severe spells of depression, and Lucia returned to Madison.

In 1899, along with painters William Baer, I. A. Josephi, and Laura Coombs Hill, Lucia Fuller founded the American Society of Miniature Painters. Aiming to revive this genre, which had been eclipsed by the coming of photography, these artists pressured the academies to allow them to exhibit as a separate group. In their work, they strove for a jewel-like delicacy and refinement.

She and her husband spent time at the Cornish Art Colony in New Hampshire. She suffered from multiple sclerosis, which after 1911 severely hampered her artistic output, although she did enter five works in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco in 1915. She died in 1924.

"American Women Artists", by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein.

Biography from Cornish Colony Museum:
Born in Boston.  During her lifetime, she was considered a top flight miniaturist.  She studied at the Art Students League in New York under William M. Chase and H. Siddons Mowbrey.  She was painting professionally as early as 1889, and was one of the three women who was asked to paint a mural for the Women’s Wing in the Columbian Exposition of 1893. (Mary Cassatt and Mary MacMonnies were the two other muralist shown).

She won a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900; a silver medal at the Buffalo Exposition in 1901. She was a member of the American Society of Miniature Painters, Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters and the New York Water Color Society.

Her works are found in several museums including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA, the Hood Museum in Hanover, NH and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site.

Biography from Memorial Hall Museum:
Lucia Fairchild Fuller (1870-1924) studied at the Cowles Art School in Boston and the Art Students League. In 1893, she married fellow artist Henry Brown Fuller (1867-1934) and had two children, Charles and Clara. The family alternately lived in New York City and Plainfield, New Hampshire, where they were members of the Cornish Art Colony founded by Augustus Saint-Gauden.

In the same year, Lucia was one of four painters of murals in the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago. Lucia also began painting miniatures. Both her commitment and abilities to the medium were impressive. In 1899, Lucia helped found the American Society of Miniature Painters and was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design.

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Lucia Fuller is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Cornish Colony
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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