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 Susan Catherine Moore Waters  (1823 - 1900)



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Lived/Active: New Jersey/New York      Known for: naive portrait, animal-sheep and still-life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Susan Catherine Moore Waters
from Auction House Records.
Ewes, Lambs, Chicks, and Chickens (reframed)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

 "At the age of 15, she [Susan Waters) and her only sister later, Amelia M. Pierce, attended a seminary at Friendville, Penna. Where she paid her tuition by painting copies of specimens for the class in natural history. She was considered a prodigy by her teachers. At seventeen she was married to William C. Waters, by whom she was encouraged to develop her talent and became a portrait painter. A number of her early portraits, painted in Upper New York State, are in a private collection in Convent, NJ After her husband's health failed, Mr. and Mrs. Waters established themselves in the business of taking fine ambrotypes and daguerreotypes. She moved to Bordentown, NJ where she teached and did painting and drawings there of nearby cities. They built a cottage on Mary Street which was later sold. She traveled and then returned to Bordentown, NJ and repurchased her former house. For twenty-seven years Mrs. Waters painted pictures in her quiet studios encouraged by her husband. After his death in 1893, she devoted herself entirely to her art, living alone most of the time. For over a year she boarded at the friends home in Trenton, and faithfully attended the friends. She was buried in the Bordentown, NJ cemetery.

Actually, Susan Waters had two specialties in later life-not only still life painting but the depiction of animals too. Typical of late nineteenth century still-life, some of her works depict objects hung on boards and doors, in a deceptively realistic manner. In several instances she combined traditional fruit subjects with such animals as squirrels.

Susan Waters real specialty, however, was the painting of farm animals, cattle and particularly sheep. She kept sheep in a pen behind her house. She painted rabbits and her cow paintings were well known also.

Susan Waters will be best remembered for her large sheep paintings which she painstaking executed using oil on canvas and by so doing, established herself as the most notable of all American sheep painters in the nineteenth century and perhaps American History." 

From the Records of the Burlington County Historical Society.

Submitted by Halcom International Art and Music Co.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
During an artistic career that spanned almost 60 years, Susan Waters created two distinctly different bodies or work.  Although she is well-known for the naively-rendered portraits produced at the beginning of her career, she later became a successful still-life and animal painter, displaying a level of proficiency rarely achieved by folk painters.

Susan Catherine Waters was born in Binghamton, New York, on May 18, 1823, the daughter of Sally and Lark Moore.  She received her artistic training at a female seminary, and from 1843 through 1846, painted portraits in many small towns in the southern tier of New York state, including Cannonsville, Berkshire, Richford, Kelloggsville and Oxford.

In her later years, Waters was painting in a much more proficient manner, producing highly accomplished still-lifes and animal pictures to meet the public demand for fashionable parlor ornaments, using the materials available to her in the rural areas in which she traveled.  She painted on linen, cotton or mattress ticking stretched on simple butt-end strainers, and often nailed fabric loops to the upper mamber of the strainers to facilitate the hanging of her portraits.

Waters continued painting until the end of her life; she died on July 7, 1900.

Sotheby's New York, Americana Department

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Binghamton, New York, Susan Waters grew up in Friendsville, Pennsylvania and earned her tuition at a seminary with drawings for her natural history teacher.  She was a self-taught artist.

In 1841, she married William Waters, a Quaker, who encouraged her talent. Following her husband, she worked in southern New York state and Pennsylvania as a painter and photographer.  She became an itinerant painter of still lifes, animals, and portraits, but her primary studio was on Mary Street in Bordentown, New Jersey.  Her favorite subject was sheep, which she kept in her back yard.

Apparently she knew her craft because many of her paintings have survived in amazingly good condition.  With her portraits, she used landscape backgrounds.  She exhibited in the 1876 International Exposition in Philadelphia.

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists

Biography from Newman Galleries:
Susan (Moore) Waters was born in 1823 in Binghampton, New York but was raised in Friendsville, Pennsylvania.  Waters was self taught as an artist, but was skilled enough to earn her tuition in seminary school by producing natural history drawings for one of her instructors.

After getting married in 1841, she continued to paint as her husband encouraged her to do so.  The Waters lived in several locations throughout Pennsylvania and New York State.  Mrs. Waters enjoyed painting animals, especially sheep, which she raised.

Susan exhibited in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and her work is represented in the collections of the New York State Historical Association, Wiltshire College, Newark Museum, Cortland County Historical Society, and the Arnot Art Museum.

The artist died in 1900 in Trenton, New Jersey.

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