| Minnie Louise Pyles is primarily known as Minnie Louise (Briggs) Raul
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following biography, submitted October 2009, is from Mary
Rice, niece of the artist.
Minnie Louise Briggs Raul was born in Camp Springs, Maryland in 1886 to
William Dennis and Anne Mary Pyles. She was first married to
Edson W. Briggs in 1906 and later, in a second marriage in 1943, to
Harry Lewis Raul.
She studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D. C., the
Brooklyn School of Art in New York under William Mathews, and the Hills
School of Art in Washington, D. C. under Benson Moore. Her
earliest works were paintings in oil and watercolor, but in the 1930’s
she began rendering her drawings as etchings and soon became recognized
as one of the few women etchers of that time. First producing
black and white etchings, she later printed her etchings in
As a lover of nature and history, Minnie Briggs Raul was known
especially for her etchings of trees and wild flowers, as well as of
vistas of marsh winds, shore lands and old houses. Her more than
500 plates were frequently the subject of descriptive poems and
articles. In 1951 she published in the Washington Star an
18-week series of etchings, each accompanied by an explanatory text, of
interesting trees both in the region and throughout the country.
Previously in 1939 she provided a similar series for the rotogravure
section of the Washington Star on famous trees of the District
of Columbia and vicinity. In addition, she wrote numerous
illustrated articles for nature magazines and was a frequent lecturer
on etching techniques at local schools and community events. In
1949 she published an illustrated book on wild flowers of the Holy Land
entitled Go Lovely Road.
From the 1930’s through the 1950’s Mrs. Raul’s etchings were frequently
exhibited at the Corcoran Art Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and
League of American Pen Women in Washington, D. C. One-person
exhibits were held at the Smithsonian Institution, University of
Maryland, and at cities nation-wide, including Baltimore, Newark, New
York, Chicago, San Francisco, Bradenton, Florida and Alexandria,
Virginia. Her works won several first-prize awards.
A founder of the Society of Washington Etchers, Minnie Briggs Raul was
also an active member of the District of Columbia Branch of the League
of American Pen Women, the Water Color Club, the Washington Society of
Fine Arts, the Art League of Washington, and the Miniature Painters,
Sculptors, and Gravers Society.
Etchings in permanent collections include “Keats Writing the Ode to the
Nightingale” in the Keats Room in Wentworth House in London and the
“Sidney Lanier Oak” in the Lanier Room of Johns Hopkins University,
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