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 Gertrude Beals Bourne  (1868 - 1962)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: floral garden landscape, structures

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Gertrude Beals is primarily known as Gertrude Beals Bourne

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Ad Code: 3
Gertrude (Bourne) Beals
from Auction House Records.
The Stone Bridge, Ipswich
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Childs Gallery:
Gertrude Beals grew up on Dartmouth Street in the Back Bay of Boston. Around 1890, she began to study art privately first with Henry Rice, 1853-1934 (who had learned his craft from Ross Turner, 1847-1915) and later, in the early 1910s, with Henry B. Snell (1858-1943), one of the founding members of the New York Watercolor Club.

An important part of her education was the trips she took to Europe with her family in the 1890’s; she painted in Norway, France, and Great Britain at this time. In 1892, Gertrude Beals first exhibited at the Boston Art Club along with fellow artists Helen Knowlton and Marie Danforth Page. Her realism in works from the 1890’s allies her stylistically with the American landscape tradition exemplified by Winslow Homer and Childe Hassam, both of whom exhibited paintings during the 1890’s at the Boston Art Club where Bourne frequently exhibited through 1905.

Gertrude Beals married the architect Frank Augustus Bourne in 1904 and moved into “Sunflower Castle” at 130 Mount Vernon Street on Beacon Hill. There they became part of a community of artists and helped to re-gentrify the Hill in the first decades of the 20th century. In 1928 she founded the Beacon Hill Garden Club. Bourne was also very aware of the work of John Singer Sargent, who’s 1910 watercolors she copied at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Maurice Prendergast, a friend and neighbor on Mount Vernon Street; Dodge Macknight, with whom she painted at Philbrook Farm in Shelburne, New Hampshire; and Arthur Wesley Dow, from whom she rented a summer house 1917-19.

Bourne continued to exhibit nationally as well as locally through the age of eighty-eight. Outside of the Boston area, she participated in exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, Washington Water Color Club, American Watercolor Society, the New York Watercolor Club, the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the Baltimore Watercolor Club, the Brooklyn Museum, James Newman Galleries, London, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Her work is included at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brockton Art Museum, the Currier Gallery of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Danforth Museum of Art.

Now available: D. Roger Howlett, Gertrude Beals Bourne: Artist In Brahmin Boston, Copley Square Press, 2004. Foreword by Patricia Hills, 144 pages, 112 illustrations (most color), author’s note, bibliography, chronology, index.

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Gertrude Beals is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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