Alice Barber Stephens

(American, 1858 - 1932)

The painter and illustrator Alice Barber Stephens was born in Salem, New Jersey. By 1873 she was enrolled at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art) and her wood cut illustrations appeared regularly in Scribner's Monthly. She continued her training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where Thomas Eakins was one of her teachers. She also studied at the Julian Academy and the Colarossi Academy in Paris and exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887. Back in the United States, she became one of the leading illustrators for magazines and journals. she also illustrated various books, among them Nathaniel Hawthorn's The Marble Faun, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Kate Douglas Wiggin's Mother Carey's Chickens. Stephens exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in annually from 1884 to 1892 and in 1895, 1901 and 1905, winning the prize of best painting for a resident woman artist in 1890. She also won prizes at the Atlanta Exposition (1895), and in London in 1902 (gold medal) for her illustrations of Elliot's Middlemarch. In 1897 she was the co-founder of the Philadelphia Plastic Club, the oldest art club for women in continuous existence.