Matilda Browne (1869-1947)
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Matilda Browne is noted for her farm and cattle scenes, which has led to her being compared to the French woman painter of cattle, Rosa Bonheur. Browne also did floral paintings but her reputation was for her ability to paint cows as though they were actually standing in the field. A child protege, she received early art training from her artist-neighbor, Thomas Moran, from Elizabeth and Kate Greatorex, and Frederick Freer who came from Philadelphia to give her lessons.
Browne studied in Paris, beginning 1889, with Julian Dupre, “one of the great French painters of cattle”, and then went to Holland. There she bought a cow to use as a model. Painting this animal in a pose of rebellion against being tied by her to a post, she created a painting called “Unwilling Model” that she exhibited in the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Browne was the first woman artist member of the Old Lyme, Connecticut art colony, and in 1905, filled a request to paint a door panel of the Florence Griswold Mansion at Old Lyme.
Memberships included the National Association of Women Artists, the American Water Color Society, and the Society of Painters of New York. She exhibited in 1890 with the Paris Salon, the National Academy of Design for 50 years, the Art Institute of Chicago four times between 1892 and 1922, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts between 1921 and 1936.
She married writer Frederick Van Wyck, for whom she did book illustrations including Recollections of an Old New Yorker.
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