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 Bertha Corbett Melcher  (1872 - 1950)

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Lived/Active: Colorado/California      Known for: illustrator, miniature painter, Sunbonnet Sue image

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Bertha Corbett Melcher
An example of work by Bertha Corbett Melcher
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An illustrator and painter of miniatures, Bertha Corbett Melcher was born in Denver Colorado on February 8, 1872. She was a student in Chicago at the School of Normal and Applied Art and also studied with Douglas Volk in Minneapolis and with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. In 1910, she moved permanently to Los Angeles, California and married George H. Melcher. They farmed in the Santa Monica Mountains where she lived until her death in 1950.

Before settling in California, Melcher was a newspaper illustrator in Minneapolis and first drew the figure Sunbonnet Sue in response to a challenge by a fellow artist to create a faceless human image. This image became the only quilt pattern believed to have originated in Minnesota. Subsequently she self published "The Sun-Bonnet Babies" in 1900, and achieved national fame in 1902 as writer and illustrator of "Sunbonnet Babies, A First Reader", that was a learning-to-read primer.

Source:
Minnesota Historical Society notes, courtesy Gail Bakkom, researcher of Minnesota quilts
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"


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Bertha Melcher is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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