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 Margaret Evans Price  (1888 - 1973)

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois / Bermuda      Known for: children's book illustration, mural and easel painting

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Biography from Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.:
Margaret Evans Price was a Western New York artist, painter, illustrator, writer, and muralist.  She was primarily known for the many childrens' books that she wrote and illustrated or collaborated on, murals, frescoes, still lifes, animal, historical, figures and portraiture.  She worked in oils, watercolor and pen and ink.

1888- March 20, born Chicago, IL, daughter of Evan Rhys Evans. Evans family relocated to Nova Scotia during Margaret’s childhood years.

1900- First illustrated story sold to the Boston Journal.

1903- High School, Charleston, MA.

1907- Studied at the Massachusetts Normal Art School. Studied portraiture at the Boston Academy of Fine Arts under Joseph De Camp and design under Vesper George.  Furthered studies in Paris.

1908- Free Lance Illustrator for magazines in New York City.

1909- February 23, Margaret married Irving L. Price (Price co-founder of the Fisher-Price Toy Company, East Aurora, NY, and former Mayor of the town, 1930).

1910- January 13, their daughter, Harriet Elizabeth Price (Denbo) is born.

1913- Adopted a son, William Price.

1919- Their son, David Sutherland Price is born.

1920- The family moved to East Aurora, NY.

1925- Painted murals for the Aurora Theater, East Aurora, NY.

1926- May, One-Person exhibition featured portraits, at the Garret Club, Buffalo, NY.

1928- Became Charter Member of the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club with other area artists including Alexis Jean Fournier, Merle James, Walter and Rixford Jennings, Karl Kipp, Robert North, Charles Rohrbach, George Scheidemantel, and William Wild.

1930- The Fisher-Price Toy Company is founded by Irving L. Price and Herman G. Fisher; Mrs. Price was the first Art Director and designed push-pull toys for the opening line, based on characters from her childrens' books.  Irving and Margaret purchased the 1825 Millard Fillmore Honeymoon Cottage, and relocated the structure to its present site at 24 Shearer Avenue, East Aurora, NY.  They restored the cottage along with adding a porch, and they also added a wing in the back (now the library) to accommodate Margaret’s art studio needs. In 1975, the cottage was purchased by the Aurora Historical Society, returned to its 1825 appearance, and is now a National Historic Landmark.

1931- November, exhibited portraits and book illustrations at Carl Bredemeier’s Gallery, 327 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY.

1949- November, exhibited 24 Bermuda paintings at the Ferargil Galleries, NYC.

1953-56- Exhibited at the Grand Central Art Gallery, NYC.

1956-57- Exhibited at the Bermuda Art Association, Bermuda.

1973- November 20, Died at 24 Shearer Avenue, East Aurora, NY, after a long illness.

Exhibited: The Boston Art Club, Boston, MA. The Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Member of: The Aurora Historical Society, East Aurora, NY, Bermuda Art Society, Bermuda, the Chromatic Club (Director), East Aurora, NY, East Aurora Art Society (Charter Mamber), East Aurora, NY, East Aurora Garden Club, East Aurora, NY, East Aurora Girl Scouts (Council Member), East Aurora, NY, East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club (Charter Member), East Aurora, NY, Quota Club (Honorary), East Aurora, NY, SPCA.

Margaret wrote and illustrated numerous childrens books, and or collaborated on many others such as: Angora Twinnies (author & illustrator, 1915), The Manger Babe (illustrator, 1916), Land Of Nod (author & illustrator, 1916), Hansel & Gretel (author & illustrator, 1916), The Night Before Christmas (illustrator, 1917), Once Upon A Time: A Book Of Old-Time Fairy Tales (author & illustrator, 1921), Enchantment Tales For Children (author & illustrator, 1926), Legends of the Seven Seas childrens book (author & illustrator, 1929), A Treasure Chest of Nursery Favorites (collaborated illustrator, 1936), Myths and Enchantment, childrens book collection of twenty Greek and Roman myths (author & illustrator, 1954-58), Mirage, a novel of the first Florida colonies (author & illustrator, 1955), to name just a few.

She was published in: American Girl, Girl Scout Magazine Cover & Postcards; Child Life, Gosset & Dunlap, Harper and Brothers’; Karle Litho, Library Publishers; Nature Magazine (July, 1942); Pictorial Review, Rand McNally and Co., Stecher Litho Co., Inc., Rochester, Triangle Books; and Woman’s Home Companion, to name just a few.

Irving and Margaret maintained a residence in Bermuda, called Fernwall at the South Hampton Parish, Bermuda.  Margaret studied the nature and history of Bermuda during the months they spent there annually.  In addition to many oil still lifes of tropical flora, an illustrated article on ocean flotsam about her was published in Nature Magazine, July 1942.

(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY.  Sources: Who was Who in American Art, 1999. The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo, by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Susan Krane, Curator, 1987. Aurora History Museum archive, History of the Millard Fillmore House. Fisher-Price press release, Fisher-Price Celebrates Diamond Anniversary. The Buffalo Artists' Register, 1926.)

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