Arts Everyday Living: Celebrating Women’s History-Elizabeth Nourse, An American in Paris




March is Women’s History Month and we will be featuring women artists through the centuries. A number of them are “famous,” but others have been overlooked and still being discovered. So enjoy our special online exhibition with fast facts highlights accompanying each image. Generally, the works of art will be presented chronologically.


Elizabeth Nourse, Fisher Girl of Picardy, 1889, oil on canvas, 46 3/4 x 32 1/4 inches, Gift of Elizabeth Pilling, 1915, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Title: Fisher Girl of Picardy, 1889

Artist: Elizabeth Nourse (1859-1938)

FAST FACTS: Elizabeth Nourse belonged with Mary Cassatt to the growing group of American women artists in the late nineteenth century. Born in 1859 in Mount Healthy, Ohio, near Cincinnati; began her art studies at McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati; she worked painting decorative panels and other subjects so she could save enough money to move to Europe; in 1887, she accomplished her dream and enrolled in the Academie Julian in Paris.

Except for one trip to the United States in 1893, Nourse remained abroad the rest of her life; she was recognized as a successful artist, both in Europe and her own country, becoming known for her portrayals of family life, particularly Dutch and French peasants (as seen in Fisher Girl in Picardy above). Nourse never married, living with her older sister Louise and supporting them both with the sale of her works. She died in 1938 in Paris.

Sources include the website of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the website of the Cincinnati Art Museum.





The Smithsonian American Art Museum does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the Smithsonian American Art Museum participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions), Smithsonian.


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