Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome
Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome was born in New Haven, Connecticut on December 18, 1824. One of the few women artists of her time, Jerome would eventually create masterful still-lifes, portraits and grand landscapes in the style of her artistic contemporary, Frederic Edwin Church. Jerome transcended the domestic realm and the typical gender role of Victorian women, studying with such artists as Julius T. Busch and the famous history painter and portraitist, Emanuel Leutze.
In 1856, the artist wed Benjamin Jerome; the couple soon settled in Hartford, Connecticut – a location in close proximity to the temporary residence of landscape artist, Church. Whether Jerome came into direct contact with Church is uncertain; however, her works do exhibit knowledge of the Hudson River School painter’s masterpieces. For instance, Jerome’s South American inspired landscape entitled, In the Andes, exhibits features analogous to those in Church’s similarly titled painting (currently in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH). A comparison of these works reveals that, like Church, Jerome showed great talent in the application of colors. Jerome’s hazy atmosphere, which encircles the exotic and tropical locale, demonstrates her ability as an artist.
Jerome was also known for her portraits and still lifes in addition to her large-scale landscapes. A number of these categories of works were exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between the years 1866-1875. Although Jerome took a brief respite from painting after the death of her daughter, she returned to her chosen profession by 1904. During this time, she turned her skillful hand to the popular genre of miniature portraits. Today, Jerome is remembered alongside Julie Hart Beers as one of the few women artists whose history has been reclaimed from the annals of nineteenth-century art.