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 Penelope Harris  (1938 - )

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: still life

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Ad Code: 4
Penelope Harris
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New York City and raised in Little Compton, Rhode Island, Penelope Harris is a painter of vividly colored still lifes, a subject she turned to later in her career when she decided to abandon any worry of being a female painter of pretty subjects. Still lifes were indeed what she wanted to paint, and her paintings include floral subjects from flowers grown in her own garden.

Her parents, Lloyd Holman Parsons and Audrey Buller, were artists, but early discouraged her from making a career of her talents because they feared the poverty and the bohemian lifestyle. Her father died before she began her formal art education, but once she determined to become an artist, her mother was strongly encouraging.

She married and moved to an A frame cabin in the woods of Vermont for six years, and then moved with her family to Philadelphia, where she began her art education after her children were an age when she thought she could manage an art career. In the early 1990s, Penelope successfully fought cancer, suspecting it was from the toxins of pastel dust and oil paint. As a result, she works only with colored pencils and water media.

Harris studied at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1975 to her graduation in 1978, having received in 1977 the Thomas Eakins Memorial Prize from the Academy. In 1979, she was awarded the J. Henry Schiedt Memorial Traveling Scholarship for further study.

Solo exhibitions in Philadelphia include Butcher Moore Gallery (1981), Gross McCleaf Gallery (1983, 1990); and Woodmere Art Museum 2001.

Source: "Penelope Harris Retrospective", Woodmere Art Museum, Bill Scott.

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