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American & European Paintings - September 2008
 
 
painting
 
Edythe Ferris
(American, born 1897–1995)
Staten Island From the Roof
Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 × 24 3/4 inches
RS 6193


Born in Riverton, New Jersey, the Philadelphia modernist Edythe Ferris had a multi-faceted career in which she worked as a painter, graphic artist, craftsperson, teacher, and writer. She studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art and Design) with the New Hope impressionist Henry B. Snell (1858–1943). She exhibited with many organizations, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Salons of American Art, the Society of Independent Artists, and the National Academy of Design. Ferris was the director of crafts and adult education at the Central YMCA in Philadelphia from 1934 to 1938; an instructor of crafts at the Montgomery County Day School in Wynnewood from 1942 to 1949; and an art advisor to the National Carl Schurz Association from 1953 to 1967. In this last capacity, she organized seventy-eight exhibitions of works by living artists of German origin or ancestry, and twenty traveling exhibitions of prints, including works by German expressionists. Ferris died in Philadelphia.

The reverse of this painting bears the label of the Circulating Picture Club, a group that was formed in Philadelphia during the early 1920s. For a ten dollar annual fee its members were allowed to keep six works of art in their possession a year, each for two months. Many prominent local artists participated in the program by lending paintings valued at ten to three-hundred dollars apiece in the hope that they would ultimately be purchased by the borrowers. †


  


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