Red rose girls

DEFINITION

A name given by illustrator Howard Pyle to three of his female illustration students: Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. In 1900, they decided they could be most productive in their careers if they distanced themselves from distractions, so they established their home in Philadelphia in a rambling country estate home called the Red Rose Inn. Reinforcing each other and hiring a domestic helper, Henrietta Cozens, each woman had a tremendous career boost during the next eight years that they were together. Willcox became a highly successful illustrator and children's portrait painter; Oakley received numerous public mural commissions, especially for Pennsylvania state capital buildings; and Green became well established as an illustrator, including numerous assignments from "Harper's Magazine". Of this alliance, a reviewer of the book about them wrote that: "For eight years the four led an almost idyllic existence of genteel lifestyle and artistic productivity, but eventually the group disintegrated, with Green's marriage causing an especially painful break." The definitive book about the three women's 'retreat' is "The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love" by Alice A. Carter. Source: www.amazon.com-review of the book.

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