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 Mary Elizabeth Price  (1877 - 1965)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/West Virginia      Known for: modernist-leaning landscape, floral still-life, marine

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Elizabeth M. Price is primarily known as Mary Elizabeth Price

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Ad Code: 3
Mary Elizabeth Price
from Auction House Records.
Flower Border 1
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is submitted by Elizabeth Bammel, collector, and is a summary using data excerpted and compiled from The Philadelphia Ten A Women's Artist Group 1917-1945:

Mary Elizabeth Price was born in 1877 in West Virginia, and at an early age she moved with her Quaker family to Solebury (Bucks County) Pennsylvania. There she received her education at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

During her long and active career, Price achieved notable exhibition history including exhibitions at the Corcoran Biennial, National Academy of Design, and in 1927 she won the Carnegie Prize for the best oil painting by an American Artist in the exhibition. She first exhibited with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1914 and every year between 1926 and 1943. She joined the Philadelphia Ten in 1921 and exhibited with them as well for many years. In other exhibitions she showed alongside Rae Sloan Bredin, Daniel Garber, Henry Snell and John Folinsbee.

She made numerous trips abroad garnering subject material from the landscapes, streets and people in Italy and France. Most of her adult life was lived in a cottage fronting on the Delaware River in Bucks County, named Pumpkinseed Cottage and she frequently painted the flowers of her garden and the landscapes from the river views. Best known for her flower compositions, her work also includes figures, landscapes, marine and genre.

Price came from a family that was well connected in the art world of New York and Bucks County. One of her brothers in Manhattan, Frederic Newlin Price, ran Feragil Galleries, which represented Price as well as such New Hope artists as Daniel Garber and Henry Snell.

Mary Elizabeth Price never married and died in 1965.

Mary Elizabeth Price received a teacher's certificate in 1899 and a certificate in illustration in 1900 from the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now The University of the Arts College of Art and Design).

Sources include:
PMSIA commencement programs, annual reports.

Biography from Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio:
Mary Elizabeth Price  (New Hope, Pennsylvania 1875 - 1960)

The daughter of a Quaker family with roots in the Shenandoah Valley, M. Elizabeth Price moved with her family at an early age from West Virginia to a farm in Solebury, Pennsylvania. After attending school in Philadelphia at Friends Central School and the Philadelphia School of the Industrial Arts, she studied still life painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1904 - 1907, where her works were later accepted for exhibitions spanning over twenty years.

The Price family had strong ties to the art in both Bucks County and New York City. Her brother, Frederic Newlin Price, ran the Ferargil Galleries in Manhattan. Her brother, R. Moore Price, was an accomplished frame maker and supplied many artists in the New Hope school with quality hand-made frames. Her younger sister, Alice, married the talented New Hope Impressionist, Rae Sloan Bredin.

In 1921, Price was accepted to the National Academy of Design and exhibited there 16 times between 1921 and 1934. M.E. Price was a longtime member of The Philadelphia Ten from 1921 - 1945 and worked with other Bucks County artists toward the founding of the Phillips Mill Community Association in 1929, where she remained an active participant most of her life and exhibited her works alongside Impressionist painters like Daniel Garber, John Folinsbee and Rae Sloan Bredin.

In 1931, Price collaborated with fellow Philadelphia Ten painter, Lucille Howard, to paint a series of murals for the rooms of the American Women's Association clubhouse (an organization Price was chairwoman of at the time). This mural received wide acclaim as the painting technique mimicked the interwoven stitchwork of samplers and needlework, an artform that had not received proper recognition and which was done anonymously by many American girls and women. Mary Elizabeth Price was an advocate for the exhibition of women's artwork and was a pioneer in the area of art education. Price is, perhaps, best know for her paintings of decorative floral panels. These close-up, painterly renditions of peonies, poppies, hollyhocks and delphiniums often held gold or silver-leaf backgrounds.

Mary Elizabeth Price died on February 19, 1965, twenty years after the Philadelphia Ten disbanded.

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