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 Elsie Lower Pomeroy  (1882 - 1971)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: mod botanics, landscape, still life

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Ad Code: 3
Elsie Lower Pomeroy
An example of work by Elsie Lower Pomeroy
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is based on information provided by Stephanie Parrish, great grand daughter of Elsie Pomeroy:

Born September 30, 1882 in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Elsie Lower Pomeroy became a California Scene painter with many prominent artists but like many talented artists, slipped through the cracks of history.

She moved to Washington D.C. where she attended the Corcoran School of Art in the early 1900s. By 1908, she was working as an artist for the United States Department of Agriculture where she drew botanical studies for the USDA Yearbook. The 1908 USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Yearbook contained four of her images including peach, persimmon, currant,and corn.

In 1911, she married Carl Stone Pomeroy a young pomologist at the USDA. By
1913, the couple moved to Riverside, California where Carl joined the Citrus Experiment Station and helped develop the navel orange/citrus industry in Southern California. Although she took time out to raise two daughters, Elsie continued to work as an artist in the 1920s/30s.

She began studies and friendships with Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, and Eliot O'Hara. During this time, she completed a series of four watercolors about the Citrus Industry in Riverside. These paintings were exhibited throughout the United States, won numerous awards, and are currently in the permanent collection at the University of California at Riverside.

In the 1940s she moved to Mill Valley, California just north of San Francisco. An ardent nature lover, Elsie traveled throughout the state capturing the
"California Scene." Her subjects include everything from Death Valley, the Missions, and coastal scenes to San Francisco cityscapes. She maintained her close ties with other California Scene Painters such as Millard Sheets, Rex Brandt, Milford Zornes, Emil Kosa and Phil Paradise. Even in her early 80s she was painting and traveling with Millard Sheets to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Elsie died in 1971 leaving behind hundreds of watercolors, oils, and drawings.

Although not as well known as her male contemporaries, her work beautifully exemplifies the California Scene movement from the 1920s-50s. Her primary mediums were watercolor and oil, but she also did drawing and used tempera.

Special Awards and Exhibitions include: "Two Hundred American Watercolors," National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1941; 1st Watercolor PrizeButler Art Institute, Ohio 1942; Honorable MentionCalifornia Watercolor Society, Los Angeles Museum of Art, 1939; International Exhibition of WatercolorsArt Institute of Chicago, 1938 & 1939; Honorable MentionSan Francisco Women Artists, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1966.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New Castle, PA on Sept. 30, 1882. After her studies at the CGA, Elsie Lower began her career as a botanical illustrator for the Dept of Agriculture in 1909. In 1911 she married Carl Pomeroy and in 1913 settled in Riverside, CA. While at Scripps College in Claremont (1936-38), she studied with Millard Sheets and Phil Dike. For six years she taught children's art classes at Riverside City College and in 1944 moved north to Mill Valley. There she was an instructor of adult education at Tamalpais High School. She died in Greenbrae, CA on June 6, 1971. Primarily a watercolorist, she produced many studies of the desert around Riverside and the missions. Member: Laguna Beach AA; Riverside AA; LA AA; San Diego FA Society; Marin Society of Artists; SF Women Artists. Exh: So. Calif. Fair (Riverside), 1930; Calif. WC Society, 1931-46; Oakland Art Gallery, 1932; Ebell Salon (LA), 1933; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934; Washington (DC) Art League, 1935; GGIE, 1939; AIC, 1939; Nat'l Gallery, 1941; SFAA; Butler Art Inst., 1942; Riverside AA, 1946 (award); Marin AA, 1948 (award); Mill Valley Library, 1969 (solo). In: Riverside High School.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1933; California State Library (Sacramento); Women Artists of the American West; Who's Who in American Art 1936-62; SF Chronicle, 6-9-1971 (obituary).
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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