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New Jersey Remembered: A Seventy-fifth Anniversary; Philadelphia Collection 75; October 2005
 
 
painting
 
Edith Lucile Howard
(1885–1960)
Sunset on the Jersey Marshes
Oil on academy board, 6 × 8 inches
Signed at center bottom: “E.L. HOWARD”
Inscribed in pencil on verso: “Sunset/on/the Jersey/Marshes”

Edith Lucile Howard was born in Bellow Falls, Vermont, the daughter of business executive Daniel DeWitt Howard, a descendant of Henry Howard, one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Her mother, Abigail Adams, was a descended from the noted Massachusetts family. The Howards lived in Keene, New Hampshire, and Kennett Square, Philadelphia, before settling in Wilmington, Delaware, where Daniel Howard was sales manager for the National Vulcanized Fiber Company. Edith Howard enrolled at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women when she was nineteen and received her diploma in 1908. Her teachers there were Henry Bayley Snell (1858–1943) and Elliot Daingerfield (1859–1932); she attended the latter’s summer courses in North Carolina and became interested in landscape painting.

Howard won two postgraduate fellowships to Europe, thus initiating a lifetime of frequent travel to the Continent; she is reputed to have crossed the Atlantic thirty times during her life and was particularly attracted to Ireland. She also traveled all over the United States and to South America. When at home, Howard divided her time during the week between New York, where she maintained a studio in Carnegie Hall and taught at the Grand Central Art Galleries and School of Art, and Philadelphia, where she taught art history and fashion illustration at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (later named Moore College of Art). On weekends she lived in Wilmington, where she was administrator of the Wilmington Academy of Art and a director of the Delaware Arts Center. Howard was a member of the Philadelphia Ten, a group of progressive women artists and sculptors active from 1917 to 1945. She exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1910, 1925, 1928, 1930, and 1943, and at the National Academy of Design six times between 1910 and 1927. In 1938 Howard married Herbert A. Roberts and moved to Moorestown, where she became a prominent resident. She retired from teaching in 1949 and held her last exhibition in 1959. She died of cancer the following year.1

Howard can best be described as an Impressionist landscape and seascape painter. Because of her constant travel regimen she found it expedient to paint numerous small plein air studies, such as Sunset on the Jersey Marshes and Beach Scene, that often served as the basis for larger oil paintings completed in her Carnegie Hall studio. The New York Evening Post described her standard working procedure: “[She] takes her canvas with her to the place she intends to paint and lays out the main outlines of the scene on the spot. Then later, she finishes the work. . . Frequently she paints an entire picture from memory alone, having trained her mind to retain impressions so vividly that the result is as accurate as if the work had been done at the scene itself.”2


Notes

1. The biography of Howard in Page Talbott and Patricia Tanis Sydney, The Philadelphia Ten: A Women’s Artist Group, 1917–1945 [exh. cat.] (Philadelphia: Galleries at Moore, Moore College of Art and Design, 1998), pp. 125–26, is largely derived from “Lucile   Howard (Mrs. Herbert A. Roberts) Distinguished Artist,” Moorestown Chronicle, June 29, 1939. See also “Lucile Howard Among ‘The Ten’ in Art Exhibit,” Moorestown Chronicle, March 16, 1939.

2. New York Evening Post, December 28, 1928; quoted in Talbott and Sydney, The Philadelphia Ten, p. 125.



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