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 Josephine E. Bradstreet  (1859 - 1920)

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Lived/Active: Maine      Known for: floral still life, portrait, cottages

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Ad Code: 4
Josephine E Bradstreet
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Donald Eric Johnson:

The Artist sometimes listed as Julie E. Bradstreet (J.E.) is actually Josephine Elizabeth Wyman Bradstreet (1859-1920). She was born in Leeds, ME on February, 22, 1859, and moved to Bridgton, ME (my hometown) when she married Lewis Bradstreet in 1882. She died on 14 December,1920 and is buried in Bridgton.

Her initial training is unknown, probably self taught or under the tutelage of Delbert Dana Coombs in nearby Lewiston. As Leeds is also very contiguous to Turner, it is not unlikely she had some training at the easel of an artist named
Josiah Bartlett, now famous for his self portrait as a physician, and the pendant of his wife in the Abby Aldrich/Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collection of "Folk Art".

Bradstreet took lessons under the tutelage of Edward Chalmers Leavitt, at The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. The Bradstreets wintered DC, and such luminaries as Charles Volk, whose studio she shared, George deForest Brush, Eastman Johnson, (He lived Fryeburg, Maine, the next town over and about 15 miles from her home. For her house and barnyard scenes, she appears to have received inspiration from, and sometimes mimicked Johnson.

Carrissa Koontz Sykes at Leigh Keno Antiques and I corresponded about a barn scene of Chicks and a Hen then in their possession, which draws both from Johnson and Ben Austrian, whom Bradstreet is known to have exhibited with at the Corcoran.

She was also familiar with those painters associated with the Artist Colony, Highland Cottage, including Harrison Bird Brown, Charles Fox, and Curtis Perry. Marsden Hartley, amongst other luminaries, received his first academic training there in 1906-1908. The Highland Cottage teachers and students summered in Bridgton or in adjoining Sweden.

Bradstreet, in addition to exhibiting at the Corcoran Gallery, also showed her works at the Portland (ME) Museum of Art, which was at that time called the Swett Memorial Art Museum, and at several commercial galleries in NY, ME, and DC.

Her still lifes were most popular, being almost exclusively florals, and many of them are owned by persons in Bridgton. She also did fine pastel portraits in the 1895-1915 period; novelties including paintings on scallop shells of native fish such as Salmon, Trout, etc.; and occasionally historic houses in the area before they were lost or moved. On commission, she painted cottages and at least one interior of a Colonial Revival interior with its inhabitants. (Collection of Donald and Mary Johnson, current owners of the house).

I know the Portland Museum of Art has her work, and I suspect the Corcoran, as she gave several and they bought one, a still life of flowers. The Bridgton
Public Library has a very early depiction of an early 19th century home and
barnyard, which appears (though not dated) to be one of if not her earliest work.

I own a painting of a huge glass pedestal fish bowl filled with white hydrangeas, her finest still life I have ever encountered. I guest curated a show of her work at the Bridgton Historical Museum in August of 1991. The accompanying brochure contains

Of your illustrations I know the flowers in a basket was painted for the Brigham family of Bridgton, and is in my brochure #32. It disappeared from an
estate while being probated here in Bridgton. I saw it for many years
hanging in the Brigham home. The tin pails of cranberries or currants was derived from a study of a single pail here in Bridgton, brochure #25. I am nor sure if the society still has photographs of the paintings, but Josephine's niece and grand daughter still live in Bridgton, and they own the bulk of her work, hundreds.

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