The papers of painter, etcher, printer, muralist, and art teacher Gabrielle de Veaux Clements measure 1 linear foot and date from 1860 to 1948. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including extensive correspondence from Clements to her mother; writings, including notes and essays on art history and etching techniques; printed material; artwork; eight sketchbooks; and photographs of Clements, her family and friends, and her work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, etcher, printer, muralist, and art teacher Gabrielle de Veaux Clements measure 1 linear foot and date from 1860 to 1948. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including extensive correspondence from Clements to her mother; writings, including notes and essays on art history and etching techniques; printed material; artwork; 8 sketchbooks; and photographs of Clements, her family and friends, and her work.
Biographical material consists of an address book, artwork sales and price lists, and autobiographical notes.
Correspondence is primarily with Clements' family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from Clements to her mother during her college years at Cornell University.
Writings include notes and essays on art history and etching techniques, 2 notebooks of poetry, and a travel diary chronicling a trip to Egypt with Ellen Day Hale.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs, a map of the artists' colony at Rockport, Folly Cove in Massachusetts, and a copy of the book Suggestions for Illuminating by W. Randle Harrison.
Artwork consists of sketches and original etchings by Clements and artwork by others.
There are 8 sketchbooks consisting primarily of cityscapes, landscapes, and figure and portrait studies.
Photographs are of Clements, her family and friends, artists models, and work by Clements and others.
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical materials, circa 1920-1944 (3 folders; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1875-1945 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, circa 1885-1940 (8 folders; Box 1)
Series 4: Printed material, circa 1860-1948 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1895-1940 (3 folders; Box 1)
Series 6: Sketchbooks, circa 1884-1940 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1875-1940 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, printer, and art teacher Gabrielle de Veaux Clements (1858-1948) lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Folly Cove near Gloucester, Massachusetts. She was known for her etchings and her commissioned murals for the cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Clements was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to physician Richard Clements and his wife, Gabrielle De Vaux. Her interest in art was supported by her family and, at the age of seventeen, she began studying lithography with the designer Charles Page at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. After graduating in 1880 from Cornell University, where she had produced a number of scientific drawings and lithographs, Clements studied with painter Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and won the school's Toppan Prize. In 1883, Clements was introduced to etching techniques by the artist Stephen Parrish and began exhibiting and printing her works professionally.
In 1884, Clements traveled abroad to Paris to study at the Academie Julian where she was joined in 1885 by fellow painter and future lifelong companion Ellen Day Hale. Upon returning to her Philadelphia studio in 1885, Clements taught other female artists, including Margaret Bush-Brown, and exhibited in numerous institutions, including the National Academy of Design and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1895, Clements moved to Baltimore to teach art at the newly established Bryn Mawr School, where she remained until 1908. During her tenure in Baltimore, she was commissioned by the Bendann Galleries to etch nine views of Baltimore and also painted five church murals in Washington, D.C., which led to subsequent murals in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Clements and Hale frequently traveled abroad, visiting France, Italy, Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, and spent summers at "The Thickets," the house they purchased in the artists' colony at Folly Cove. During World War I, they wintered in Charleston, South Carolina where they opened their studios to young female artists and taught innovative etching, painting, and color printmaking techniques. After the war, they again opened their studios in Folly Cove to young artists and continued to teach and experiment with soft-ground etching and aquatints in color. This work was highlighted in special exhibitions at the J.B. Speed Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. Clements died in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1948.
The Gabrielle de Veaux Clements papers were donated by Mrs. Harlan Starr, Jr. in 1983.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.