Edith Emerson

Untitled, 12/11/03, 2:53 PM, 16C, 3450x4776 (600+0), 100%, AIA repro tone, 1/50 s, R58.9, G46.8, B59.3

Edith Emerson’s story is one of familial influence, artistic mentorship, and dedicated leadership in the arts. Born into a family with a rich background in both artistry and academia in Ohio, Emerson’s early exposure to diverse cultures through travel and her apprenticeship under a Norwegian painter laid the foundation for her burgeoning talent in the visual arts.

Her journey eventually led her to Philadelphia, where she studied under the renowned artist Violet Oakley, a significant figure in the Icon Billboard Series. Oakley’s mentorship proved pivotal for Emerson, igniting her passion and expanding her artistic horizons in ways she had not previously imagined. Emerson’s admiration for Oakley as a teacher and mentor is evident in her portrayal of Oakley in her painting, “Portrait of Violet Oakley,” which was selected for the Icon Series.

Emerson’s leadership and contributions to the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, spanning several decades, further solidified her place as a notable figure in the art world. Her dedication to fostering artistic talent, curating exhibitions, and preserving cultural heritage at the museum underscores her commitment to the arts beyond her own creative endeavors.

Despite her significant contributions and lifelong dedication to the visual arts, Emerson’s work has, unfortunately, remained largely unrecognized until recently. However, her inclusion in the Icon Series serves as a belated acknowledgment of her talent, influence, and enduring legacy.

Emerson’s paintings can be found in prestigious collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, La Salle University Art Museum, and, fittingly, the Woodmere Art Museum, ensuring that her artistic legacy endures for future generations to appreciate and admire.

Last updated: Apr 9, 2024