Mini Biography: Elizabeth Nourse

Birth: Oct. 26, 1859
Death: Oct. 8, 1938
Nationality: American
Movement: Realist
Born in Ohio, Nourse and her twin sister were the youngest of a large Catholic family. She attended the precursor to the Art Academy of the Cincinnati Art Museum and studied there until approximately age 22. She then attended the Arts Student League in NYC for a year and returned home to Ohio for another 4 years before heading to Paris in 1887 where she lived for the rest of her life. Although Nourse briefly attended the Académie Julian she was schooled primarily in the United States. While maintaining a home base in Paris with an older sister she traveled through Europe, North Africa, and Russia. Unlike many American artists Nourse stayed abroad through WWI and worked to ease the plight of refugees during the war years. Her humanitarian service earned her the Laetare Medal in 1921. Nourse became one of the first American women to be a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts even though her work typically featured working class and rural women and children.
Some notable  examples of her work include Fisher Girl of Picardy created in 1888 and pictured below, Self-Portrait painted in 1891 (a digitally manipulated version is the header image) and a drawing titled Mother and Three Children (1905)

nourse_picardy_girl

Nourse, Elizabeth. Fisher Girl of Picardy (1888), Smithsonian American Art Museum.
For more information on Elizabeth Nourse or to see more of her artwork visit:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Clara Database of Women Artists
Wikimedia Commons
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