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 Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts  (1871 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, seascape, portrait and religious painting

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Ad Code: 3
Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts
Seascape, Annisquam (MA), circa 1914 (provided by the Concord Art Association)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is submitted by Cornelia Moynihan:

Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts 1871-1927 (b. Phila PA, d. Concord MA)

Mainly a landscape and seascape painter, Elizabeth Roberts was the only child of wealthy Philadelphia parents.  She began her art education in 1888 with Henry Rankin Poore and Elisabeth Fern Bonsall at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she won the Mary Smith Prize in 1889.  That same year she moved to Paris to study at the Academie Julian, principally under Jules Lefebvre.  She remained in France for 10 years.

Roberts returned to the U.S. in 1898, and with her companion Grace Keyes, divided her time between New York and New England, finally settling in Concord MA in 1908.  She and fellow Concord artists Daniel Chester French and Mary Abbott founded in 1916 the Concord Art Association, where she organized exhibitions of contemporaries' work.

By 1922 she hired woman architect Lois Howe to renovate the Jonathan Ball House in Concord for a permanent home for the Association, and its first show there in 1923 included works by noted artists John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Robert Henri and Mary Cassatt.

Roberts also spent time at West Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Cape Ann village of Annisquam.  Here she produced some of her most characteristic work, serene, sunlit beach scenes with subtle harmonious colors.

During her career she exhibited widely including at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Society of American Artists, and the Seattle Fine Arts Society. Memberships were numerous, from the Philadelphia Ten (1922), PAFA (Assoc. Fellow), The Group (Boston), Concord AA (founder), North Shore AA, Provincetown AA, to NAC, Allied Artists of America and La Societe Internationale des Arts ay des Lettres.

Roberts suffered from depression during her later years, and in 1925 she was hospitalized for this condition.  When told she had to give up painting, her despair caused her, age 56, to hang herself.  She left two million dollars to her companion Grace Keyes and the building in Concord Center to serve as a showplace for the Concord Art Association.


Sources include:
A Studio of Her Own - Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940, by Erica E Hirshler
(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2001)
The Philadelphia Ten - A Women's Artist Group 1917-1945, by Page Talbot and
Patricia Tanis Sydney (American Art Review Press, 1998)
John Chateauneuf, Founder of Walks of Concord
Who Was Who in American Art - ed. Peter Falk

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A landscape and seascape painter, Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts was the only child of wealthy Philadelphia parents.  She began her art education in 1888 with Henry Rankin Poore and Elisabeth Fern Bonsall at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she won the Mary Smith Prize in 1889. That same year she went to Paris where she enrolled at the Academie Julian, studying with Jules Lefebvre.  She remained in France for 10 years.

In 1898, she returned to the United States and, with her companion Grace Keyes, divided her time between New York and New England.  According to John Chateauneuf, founder of "Beyond Twilight" walks of Concord, she settled in Concord, Massachusetts where she, along with Daniel Chester French and Mary Abbott, established the Concord Art Association.

The first exhibition she organized there included works by Daniel Chester French, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet and Mary Cassatt.  In 1922, she hired Lois Howe, an architect, to renovate the Jonathan Ball House in Concord for a permanent home for the Association.

Roberts also spent time at West Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Cape Ann village of Annisquam.  Here she produced some of her most characteristic work, serene, sunlit beach scenes with interwoven harmonious colors.

During these years, she exhibited widely including at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Society of American Artists and the Seattle Fine Arts Society.

Roberts had suffered from depression during most of her adult life, and in 1925, she was hospitalized for this condition.  When she was told she had to give up painting, her despair caused her, age 55, to hang herself.  She left two million dollars to her companion Grace Keyes, and left the building in Concord Center to serve as a showplace for the Concord Art Association.

Sources include:
A Studio of Her Own by Erica E Hirshler
John Chateauneuf, Founder of Walks of Concord
Concord Art Association

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