HOME VIEW BY SUBJECT VIEW BY ARTIST ITEMS OF INTEREST CURRENT EXHIBITION CONTACT
HISTORY CATALOGUES
New Jersey Remembered: A Seventy-fifth Anniversary; Philadelphia Collection 75; October 2005
 
 
painting
 
Amelia Rumsey Patterson
(1869–?)
Chrysanthemums
Oil on canvas, 28 × 22 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: “A.R.Patterson ’93”
Inscribed in ink on stretcher verso: “For/Frank M. Acton”

William Gerdts wrote that at the end of the nineteenth century there were many “women painters of still life from New Jersey exhibiting, but paintings by few of them have come to light.”1 One such person is Amelia Rumsey Patterson, whose identity has recently emerged. She was born in Salem, New Jersey, the fourth and youngest child of prominent local physician Theophilus Patterson and Caroline Rowe Ware. Some sources state that she exhibited at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The inscription on the reverse of this floral still life refers to the artist’s neighbor Frank Miller Acton, who lived across the street from her in Salem.

Although Patterson was not a prolific artist, she was quite skilled. The Schwarz Gallery had a meticulously painted trompe l’oeil Still Life with Violin (1886, private collection) by Patterson that she based on the famous Old Violin (1886, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) by William Michael Harnett (1848–1892), or more likely the widely circulated chromolithograph of it that Frank Tuchfarber of Cincinnati published the following year.2 Her Rebecca at the Well (1890) is in the collection of the Salem County Historical Society.


Notes

1. Gerdts, Painting and Sculpture in New Jersey, p. 111.

2. This painting is illustrated and discussed in Robert Devlin Schwarz, et al., 150 Years of Philadelphia Still-Life Painting, Philadelphia Collection, vol. XII (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1997), p. 81.



Copyright ©2005 The Schwarz Gallery

The Schwarz gallery is not responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this web site.