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 Julie Hart Beers  (1835 - 1913)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, still life, genre

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Julia Hart Beers Kempson is primarily known as Julie Hart Beers

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Julie Hart Beers
from Auction House Records.
A Walk in the Mountains
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biographical data about the family background of Julie Beers was submitted January 2006 by Marianne Brush (Mrs. Walton Brush), the great, great granddaughter of the artist, Julie Beers.


In the beginning there is Daniel Robertson, born 5-30-1769.  He had a daughter named Marion Robertson, born 10-7-1792.   This Marion Robertson married James Hart, (born 3-28-1788) on 7-16-1811.   They produced ten children.....James, William and Julia Fenn (born 12-28-1834) among them.  Julia was the last and the only one born in America.  The rest  were all born in Scotland. 

Julia changed the spelling of her name to Julie and dropped the Fenn entirely because she felt it was too foreign.  The family settled first in Pittsfield, Mass. and later lived in Albany, N. Y. There Julie Hart married, on 1-13-1853,  a journalist named George Washington Beers.  They had two daughters......Marion Robertson Beers, born 12-8-1853, called "Minnie" and Kathryn Schrieber Beers, called "Kitty", born 7-12-1856. 

George  W. Beers died in 1856 leaving Julie Hart Beers a very young widow of twenty-two with two very young daughters.  Julie Hart Beers was a lively, talented and beautiful woman.   We have photographs of her from all stages of her life and she remained lovely up until her death on 8-13-1913 at the age of 78.   Most of the photos were of her at her easel. 

After the death of her husband, George Washington Beers, she moved to New York.  Her brother, William, lived in Brooklyn, but she set up housekeeping in a studio in the Dodsworth Building with the two little girls.  It was quite Bohemian of her but apparently they had a wonderful time.  The family has many tales to tell...and they do....of life in those days. 

Julie Hart Beers supported herself and Minnie and Kitty by taking groups of young ladies on extensive Painting Trips.  They traveled up and down the country sketching and painting.  Daughter Marion Robertson Beers (Minnie) learned to paint but Kitty never did.  Kitty was happy to clean up for all the artists though.  Many years later, when Julie was well into her forties, she married a man named P. Tertius  Kempson and settled into a sedate life in Metuchin, New Jersey.  She was still painting well into her seventies.....as Julie Hart Beers Kempson. 

She was our great-great grandmother.

There have been countless namesakes in the family ever since.   Her daughter, Kitty, never married but Marion Robertson Beers did.  She married, on 6-21-1877, Edward Fletcher Brush and they produced fourteen children (2 sets of twins).   She painted until her death, at 91 years old, on 9-19-1945. 

Marion Robertson Beers Brush was the paternal grandmother of my husband, Walton Brush.  Contrary to the information in Peter Falk's Who Was Who in American Art,  there never was a husband named Marion in this family.  
                                                                        



This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Julie Beers was a younger sister of artists James McDougal Hart and William Hart and grew up in Albany, New York.  Her school record has not been found, but it is assumed she learned to paint from her brother James.

In the mid-1850s, she moved to New York City with her brothers and artist husband, Marion R. Beers.  Her studio was in the Dodworth's Building on Broadway.  In 1867, she first exhibited with the National Academy of Design and became a regular exhibitor there.  In 1867 and 1868, she also exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum.

In 1877, she re-married, this time to Peter Kempson and moved to Metuchen, New Jersey, but continued to use the name Julia Beers. 

She is basically unrecognized but William Gerdts wrote that she is "the only woman artist of the century to specialize in landscape."


Sources include:
Paul Sternberg, Sr., Art by American Women
William Gerdts, Women Artists of America, 1707-1964


** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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