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 Sarah Freedman McPherson  (1894 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: New York/Maine/Ohio / France      Known for: modernist painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Part of the "Bohemian" circle of Greenwich Village, New York City artists in the early 20th Century, Sarah McPherson associated in that group with  John Reed, Rockwell Kent, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Eugene O'Neill.

During the 1920s, she lived in Paris, where she studied at the Academie Julian photographer Man Ray used her as a subject.  She was also friends with prominent avant-garde intellectuals including artists Marcel Duchamp and Djuna Barnes.

Her early painting was primarily large pastels but she later switched to watercolor miniautres in a "neo-primitve" style with various subjects including "wheelbarrels, oil lamps, seagulls, and nudes." 

During her lifetime, her work was not much exhibited, but did receive positive reviews from distinguished critics such as Walter Pach.   The Society of Independent Artists was, however, an exhibition venue, and her paintings appeared in annual shos from 1917 to 1921 and 1923-1932.

Sarah McPherson became a revered artists on the island of Monhegan, in Maine, where she "would sometimes hang her work by clothespins at the back of Monhegan’s Periwinkle coffee shop, selling her miniatures for as little as five dollars." In 1980, a solo exhibition of work by Sarah McPherson was held at the Monhegan Museum.

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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