According to historical documentation, Francis Hudson was born in New York City in 1860. She married William M. Storrs of Hartford, Connecticut where she lived for most of her adult life. Early records show her address as 81 Elm Street, Hartford.
F. H. Storrs was a student of several well-known American artists including: William Merritt Chase, Charles Courtney Curran, Edward Hale and Hawthorne. She was a respected artist and knew many of the prominent eastern painters of her day. In January 1914, The Connecticut Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) held an exhibition at the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum in Hartford. The members of the jury of selection included: C. N. Flagg, W.G. Bunce, R. B. Brandegee, H. C. White, F. H. Storrs, G. C. Wiggins, O. Anderson, R. F. Logan, A. E. Jones, J. G. McManus, and D. F. Wentworth.
F. H. Storrs’ work was exhibited at the MacDowell Club in New York City in February 1919. This club was founded to nurture certain art forms such as painting and writing. Museum references for the artist include the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford. In addition, a piece by the artist is part of the prestigious Sellars Collection which features paintings by American woman artists from 1850-1940. The “majority of the women in this collection trained and taught at the finest academies in the U.S. and Europe. Throughout their careers, they earned the highest honors in the exhibitions of their day.”
Known examples of Storrs’ colorful paintings are mainly florals and landscapes of local areas such as Old Lyme. An oil on board entitled Dahlias, painted by the artist in 1932, has been widely reproduced. In her lifetime, F. H. Storrs was a member of the NY Woman’s AC, CAFA, North Shore AA, and the Hartford Art Soc.
Frances Storrs was also patron of the local arts. A statue of the Marquis de Lafayette, given to the city of Hartford by the artist, was dedicated on November 11, 1932. The sculptor was Paul Wayland Bartlett.
F. H. Storrs is listed in several art publications: Who Was Who in American Art, the American Art Directory, American Paintings Before 1945, the Dictionary of Women Artists, and the Dictionary of American Artists. There are also records for this artist in the online archives of the Smithsonian.
The artist passed away in 1945.
Census data, New York Times archives, the American Art Directory, Who Was Who in American Art, and other online records and publications.
Compiled and submitted by Tina A. Kasper