Ethel Franklin Betts

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Ethel Franklin Betts
Born (1877-09-06)September 6, 1877
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died October 9, 1959(1959-10-09) (aged 82)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Education Pennsylvania Academy
Drexel Institute
Known for Illustration
An illustration by Ethel Franklin Betts for James Whitcomb Riley's story Little Orphant Annie (1908).

Ethel Franklin Betts Bains (September 6, 1877 – October 9, 1959)[1] was an American illustrator primarily of children's books during the golden age of American illustration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Early life and education[edit]

Betts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 6, 1877,[1] the daughter of the physician Thomas Betts and Alice Whelan. She was the younger sister of the illustrator Anna Whelan Betts.[2] Betts studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, with the noted illustrator Howard Pyle at Drexel Institute, now Drexel University, and then at the Howard Pyle School in nearby Wilmington, Delaware.[3]


Betts first gained work illustrating magazines including St. Nicholas Magazine, McClure's, and Collier's. Beginning in 1904, she was commissioned to illustrate several books including James Whitcomb Riley's The Raggedy Man, While the Heart Beats Young, and Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess. Betts stopped commercial illustration after her marriage to Edward Bains in 1909 but continued to exhibit her work. She received a bronze medal for her illustration of The Six Swans at the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition.[4]


Betts died at her home in Philadelphia on October 9, 1959.[1] She was buried at Solebury Friends Cemetery in Solebury, Pennsylvania.[1][5]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ethel Franklin Bains". Certificate of Death. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health Vital Statistics. pp. File No. 95406. 
  2. ^ "Ethel Franklin Betts : (1878-1956)". Artists. American Illustrators Gallery. 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Official Catalogue of the Department of Fine Arts, Panama-Pacific International Exposition (with Awards). San Francisco: The Wahlgreen Company. 1915. 
  5. ^ Oppie, Lillie (December 14, 2005). "Ethel F. Bains". p. 12678591. Retrieved 10 December 2014.