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 Elizabeth (Bessie) Curtis  (1865 - 1953)

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Lived/Active: California / England/Holland      Known for: portrait, figure and landscape painting, miniatures

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Elizabeth Curtis O'Sullivan is primarily known as Elizabeth (Bessie) Curtis

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Ad Code: 4
Elizabeth Curtis
from Auction House Records.
Adobe Garden
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, CA on Aug. 27, 1865, "Bessie" Curtis was artistically inclined as a child. She began art studies at the local Art Students League followed by further study at the Gotham Art League in NYC and at Académie Delecluse in Paris.

While in her teens she established a studio in her native city and one across the Golden Gate in Bolinas.  By 1889 she was among the teaching staff at the Art Students League in San Francisco.  She then went to England to study art, married singer Denis O'Sullivan in 1893 and settled in London.

During the 1890s she made extended trips to Holland and returned to San Francisco in 1898 with scenes of that country and Dutch children at play. After the death of her husband in 1908, she lived with her daughter in Oxford, England until her demise about 1953.

Her work includes portraits, book illustrations, and landscapes.  As well as a painter, she was also known as a writer of plays and novels.  She sometimes used the pseudonym Patrick Bidwell.

California Midwinter International Expo, 1894; San Francisco Art Association, 1895-1900; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; California State Library (Sacramento); SF Chronicle, 8-11-1889 and 6-4-1899.
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, Elizabeth Curtis became a respected painter of miniatures, portraits, figures, and Marin County landscapes. She also taught beginning 1889 at the San Francisco Art Students League and then spent several years in Holland in the 1890s.

She married Dennis O'Sullivan and moved to England, living in London and Oxfordshire.

Exhibitions included the California Midwinter Exposition of 1894, Mark Hopkins Institute of 1898, and the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939.

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

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