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 Sarah Jane Prentiss  (1823 - 1877)

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Lived/Active: Maine      Known for: florals, landscape, still life, figure

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Ad Code: 3
Sarah Jane Prentiss
from Auction House Records.
Autumn Leaves
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Records concerning the life and art of Sarah Jane Prentiss are extremely scant. To her credit, all biographies indicate that she was well-loved and possessed a gentle and abiding heart.

She was born November 29, 1823, in Paris, Maine, the last of nine children in the family of Henry and Mary (Hart) Prentiss. Her father, in addition to serving as a State Representative and a Justice of the Peace, was considrerd quite a political columnist. He was a frequent and popular contributor to the local newspaper while also writing excellent poety.

This latter trait, along with a love of music and art, were Miss Prentiss' earliest pleasures, though her family duties allowed her little time for such pursuits. She grew up in Paris, Maine, and attended High School in nearby Bangor, Maine. In 1859, after the death of her mother, she lived with her aunt in Wakefield, Massachusetts. From there she was able to take lessons in drawing and watercolor under Tuckerman at the School of Design in Boston. With the advent of the Civil War in 1861, Miss Prentiss volunteered as a nurse and served in the hospitals of Maryland. It was while in this service that she contracted malaria. She was never able to fully recover from its effects which eventually led to her early death.

Returning to her life in Paris, Maine, after the war, she began to practice oil painting. Endeavoring to improve her abilities in art, as well as in music while also hoping to regain her health, she left for Europe in 1874. There she was able to spend time in Munich and the Bavarian and Italian Alps. She returned home in late 1875, her health having worsened, to her brothers home, "Elm Bank," in Bangor, Maine. She died there October 21, 1877.

Family history states that she was a good musician, poet and painter. While versatile in her art - she was known to have painted landscapes, still lifes and some figure work - she was never well known nor prolific. She sincerely enjoyed the charm of nature that she found around her. Her work was done for enjoyment and known to have adorned many of her friends homes.

Written and submitted February 200r by Edward Bentley, Art Collector and Researcher from Lansing, Michigan. The biography was published earlier in the "Fine Art Trader".

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