Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Heading West in 19C America

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1850-1936)  Love's Young Dream

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe’s sentimental oil paintings celebrating rural family life & events from American history appealed to popular Victorian tastes in England & the United States. The artist was born in a log cabin in rural northeastern Pennsylvania to William Brownscombe, an English-born farmer, & Elvira Kennedy, a direct descendant of a Mayflower passenger. Thus, Brownscombe’s early life was reminiscent of one of her own paintings. When her father died in 1868, Brownscombe began supporting herself through teaching & creating book & magazine illustrations. Brownscombe also sold the rights to reproduce her watercolor & oil paintings as inexpensive prints, Christmas cards, & calendars. She distributed more than 100 artworks this way, spreading her images into homes nationally. Viewers loved her highly naturalistic style, which included picturesque details that helped them recognize the stories & emotions portrayed.  A prize-winning student at the Cooper Institute School of Design for Women & the National Academy of Design, Brownscombe became a founding member of the Art Students League & later served as faculty. In the 1880s & 1890s, Brownscombe studied art in France, spent winters in Rome, & exhibited in London, New York, Chicago, & Philadelphia. 
Bio from National Museum of Women in the Arts