Anna Whelan Betts
|Anna Whelan Betts|
May 15, 1875|
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Anna Whelan Betts (1875–1952) was an American illustrator and art teacher who was noted for her paintings of Victorian women in romantic settings. Betts is considered one of the primary artists of the golden age of American illustration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Art historian Walt Reed wrote "her work was characterized by its great beauty and sensitivity.
Betts was born on May 15, 1875 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the oldest of three children of the physician Thomas Betts and Alice Whelan. Her sister, Ethel, would also become an artist. Betts studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia with Robert Vonnoh. After graduating, she moved to Paris where she was tutored by the French painter Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois. Upon returning to the United States, she studied illustration under Howard Pyle, founder of the Brandywine School. Betts's first published illustration was for Collier's magazine in 1899. Her work later appeared in many of the popular magazines of the early 1900s including Century Magazine, Harper's, The Ladies’ Home Journal, and St. Nicholas Magazine. Her book illustrations appeared for the first time in 1904 in Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd's Nancy’s Country Christmas. Betts was honored as a fellow at the Pennsylvania Academy and won several medals including a bronze medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) in San Francisco.
After her eyesight began failing in 1925, Betts was advised to retire from illustration. She joined the faculty of the small private boys' school, Solebury School, where she worked as an administrator, hostess and art teacher. In 1944, Betts retired from teaching and moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, to live with her sister Ethel.
- Wagner, Margaret E., Maxfield Parrish and the Illustrators of the Golden Age, Pomegranate Communications (March 31, 2000), 128pp, ISBN 0-7649-1257-7
- Reed, Walt (2001). The illustrator in America, 1860-2000. New York, N.Y.: Society of Illustrators. p. 9. ISBN 978-0823025237.
- United States Federal Census, 1900, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Ward 22, District 477, Sheet 4B
- List of United States Citizens, Passenger list of SS Majestic, Port of New York, September 5, 1928, p80
- Berry, Rose Virginia Stewart The dream city : its art in story and symbolism, W. N. Brunt, San Francisco, p327(c1915)