Red Rose Girls


Things are coming up ROSES! I have been working on some ATC’s for a swap with my special Paper Traders called Red Rose Girls. The title refers to a group of 4 women who lived & worked in the first half of the 1900s. They ‘branded’ (in a marketing sense) themselves the Red Rose Girls after a picturesque inn in Villanova where they lived and worked together.   The artists were: Elizabeth Shippen Green, Violet Oakley & Jesse Willcox Smith.  The fourth member of the Red Rose Girls was Henrietta Cozens. Cozens was not an artist, but gardened, cooked, and managed the household for the other three.

They lived together in a most unconventional family for the day, that liberated these women to some extent from the day to day hum drum of domestic distractions, while the supportive environment they allowed each other encouraged and sustained them in creating a world where art and life were inseparable.

These girls were pioneers for women, each in their own right having significant bodies of work and notable commissions. Green had an exclusive contract with Harper’s Magazine, for which she designed hundreds of covers and interiors for more than 20 years. Oakley was awarded a commission in 1902 to paint eighteen murals in the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, the first time an American woman artist had been given such a prestigious public commission. Jesse Willcox Smith became famous for her idealized pictures of children and domestic life in Collier’s, Harper’s, Ladies Home Journal, and Scribner’s magazines, among many others. In addition she illustrated more than forty popular books, among them Dickens’s Children. These are the main images that I have drawn on for my work.   My ATC’s have been made with a combination of oil pastels, prints on photo paper & artificial flowers.

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