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 Susan Merrill Farnam  (1835 - 1906)

About: Susan Merrill Farnam


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Lived/Active: California/Massachusetts/Connecticut      Known for: landscape painting

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Susan Merrill is primarily known as Susan Merrill Farnam

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Canton Center, CT on Feb. 19, 1835, Susan Merrill (née Merrell) graduated from Mount Holyoke College and then taught school in NYC and Connecticut.  After her marriage to Charles W. Farnam in 1863, she lived in Westfield, CT.

Upon moving to San Francisco with her husband in 1872, she studied locally at the School of Design under Virgil Williams and Raymond Yelland, and privately with William Keith and George Smillie.

In the mid-1870s she moved across the Bay to Oakland.  She made painting excursions to the Monterey Peninsula, Santa Cruz, and Yosemite.   By 1900 she was a widow and in that year toured Europe with her brother Selah Merrill, an archaeologist.

She died near Oakland in Fruitvale, CA on Dec. 21, 1906.  Many of her paintings were lost in the 1906 earthquake and fire, making rare any that are extant.

California State Fair, 188l-1901; Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1885-97; San Francisco Art Association, 1885-1905; California Building, World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California State Library (Sacramento); Women Artists of the American West; Death record; Oakland Tribune, 12-22-1906 and Oakland Enquirer, 12-24-1906 (obits).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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