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The papers of painter Ethel Edwards span her lifetime as an artist, from the 1930s in New Orleans, where she began her art studies at Newcomb College, to her years in New York and Wellfleet, Mass. Included are numerous photographs of Edwards and her art work; 38 sketchbooks; one scrapbook; exhibition catalogs and files relating to exhibits and sales; correspondence, clippings, and illustrations.
Ethel Edwards papers, circa 1929-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Painter, illustrator, teacher; New York, N.Y., and Provincetown and Wellfleet, Mass. Born 1914. Died 1999. Ethel Edwards was born in New Orleans in 1914 and entered Newcomb College there in 1933 on scholarship. In September 1935, her teacher for life drawing, watercolor, and portrait drawing was painter Xavier Gonzalez, whom she married the following summer. After studying in Paris in 1937-38, she returned to Alpine, Texas, where in 1939 she won the Forty-Eight State Mural Competition for her post office mural in Lampasas, Texas. In 1942, Edwards and Gonzalez moved to New York City, where Edwards continued to paint, working with powdered color and egg-oil emulsion and experimenting with line in various media and surfaces. She did fashion illustrations for Town and Country and Fortune Magazines in 1944 and 1945. In 1946, her illustrations for Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince" were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, and she began exhibiting paintings in Provincetown and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. In 1949, she joined the Grand Central Moderns Gallery. For many years, she and Gonzalez taught at the Art Students League, and she assisted in his Wellfleet art school. Edwards died in New York in 1999.
Donated 1999 by the estate of Ethel Edwards Gonzalez, together with 14 feet of the papers of her husband, Xavier Gonzalez (cataloged separately).
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001