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 Virginia Walker Couse  (1860 - 1929)

About: Virginia Walker Couse


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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Oregon / France/Mexico      Known for: landscape painting, illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An art student in Paris in 1887 at the Academie Colorossi and later the Academie Julian, Virginia Walker had the goal of becoming an illustrator. After several years of study, she was forced to give up the idea of becoming an artist because of poor eyesight.

Virginia was raised on an isolated ranch in Klikitat Co. Washington, and had studied first in Philadelphia and New York City. In Paris she met fellow student Eanger Couse and they were married in 1889. Two years later the young married couple returned to the US to live for a year on her family’s ranch in Washington, where her husband painted his first pictures of Native Americans. After returning to France, the Couses lived for three years in Etaples, a fishing village and art colony on the coast of Picardy.

She and Eanger Couse eventually established their home in Taos, New Mexico, where he was a member of the Taos Society of Artists. Eye trouble prevented Virginia from ever returning to her own art. Her granddaughter, Virginia Leavitt, wrote that circa 1889, "she did sell one illustration that I know of to Wide Awake Magazine" but apparently that was about the extent of her known artistic output.

Virginia Couse Leavitt, email to Lonnie Dunbier, 02/27/2012
Dean Porter, Teresa Ebie and Susan Campbell, Taos Patrons and Their Artists, p. 323

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