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 Mary Virginia (M.V.) Phillips  (1848 - 1923)



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Lived/Active: Ohio      Known for: genre, landscape and figure painting

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MV Phillips is primarily known as Mary Virginia (M.V.) Phillips

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mary Virginia Phillips was born in Cincinnati in 1848 to Robert C. Phillips and Mary S. Humber Phillips.  She lived at home through her school years and remained unmarried through her life.  She attended the University of Cincinnati School of Design from 1879 to 1883 and exhibited extensively while there.  The Cincinnati Historical Society Library has lists of her exhibition of over 40 works of art she created during this period.  She also not only taught at Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College, but attended the school in 1869 as well.

She went on to become one of 36 graduates of Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College to return and teach for them.  Miss Phillips was also very involved with the college in other ways.  She was the recording Secretary of the Alumnae Association from 1879-1880 and 1885-1886.  She was the President of the Alumnae Association from 1893-1894, and in 1897, she was elected as the Assistant Custodian of the Alumnae Association, a lifetime officer position.  She is listed as being involved in various events of the Alumnae Association of Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College, including speaking at events, giving toasts, and raising funds for this group as well.  As Secretary of the Alumnae Endowment Fund in 1895, she sent out letters informing members of dues owed to the organization.  She also kept records of how the trust was handled, and created a report of the fund.

She died in Cincinnati on January 16, 1923 and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in the family plot.

Biography courtesy of the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.
Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian, East Lansing, Michigan.

Biography from Lawrence Cantor Fine Art:
Like so many of the other female artists of the period, Virginia Phillips only used her initials to avoid discrimination. As scarce as biographical material can be on most of the nineteenth-century artists, it is even harder to find on the female painters of the period.

What we have pieced together is this: M.V. Phillips, Artist, born in Ohio about 1848 and active in Cincinnati (Hamilton County) from 1880 or earlier, to at least 1905. After studying at the School of Design (now the Cincinnati Art Academy), she taught drawing and designing at the Cincinnati Wesleyan College for Women in 1882 and 1883. From 1892 until 1905 she was listed at various Cincinnati addresses as ''artist''.

Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900
Hamiliton County census, 1900
Cincinnati Enquirer, June 10, 1880
Annual catalogues, Cincinnati Wesleyan College for Women

Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Art Galleries, Panorama of Cincinnati Art III: 1850-1950, November 26 - December 31,1988.

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