Mary Elizabeth Price

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Mary Elizabeth Price, at her easel

Mary Elizabeth Price (1 March 1877 – 19 February 1965)[1] was an American impressionist painter, born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, with family roots in Solebury, Bucks County, PA, MD and the Shenandoah region of VA.


Price studied at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Arts as well as the Pennsylvania Academy under William Lathrop and Hugh Breckenridge. As an early member of the Philadelphia Ten, a group of women artists begun in 1921, she organized exhibits and participated in solo and group shows in many galleries in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, including Grand Central, the Whitney Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran and the National Academy of Design. As Chairman of the exhibition committee for the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, she arranged 32 exhibitions across America, and in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.[2]

Price is best known for her floral still life paintings which often incorporate gold and silver leaf. "Her panel is first painted in many surfaces of whitening and red clay; over these she applied gold sizing before painting the figures and flowers which characterize her brilliant creations." [3] Examples of such work, including Mallows (1929)[4] and Delphinium Pattern (ca. 1933), were included in The Painterly Voice: Bucks County's Fertile Ground, a 2011 exhibition of the James A. Michener Art Museum. She also painted landscapes, genre scenes, and ships, including a unique series of Spanish treasure ships.[5] One of these treasure ship paintings won the Carnegie prize at the 1927 Winter Exhibition at the National Academy of Design for the best oil painting by an American artist.

Price lived much of her early artistic life in New York City and then returned to Bucks County, living with her brother Frederick in "The Pumpkinseed", a small house on the canal in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Frederick Newlin Price operated Ferargil Galleries in New York from 1915 to 1955.[6]

Some of her paintings were incorporated into large gold or silver screens and mirrors made by her brother Reuben Moore Price. He had been helped with the frame designs by his wife, Elizabeth Freedley Price, also an Artist. The sister of M. Elizabeth Price married Rae Sloan Bredin, another American impressionist painter living in New Hope, Pennsylvania. She is buried in the Solebury Friends Meeting House cemetery in Solebury, PA.


  1. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 February 1965
  2. ^ Folk, 1997, p. 104
  3. ^ Lambertville Record, May 22, 1930
  4. ^
  5. ^ Talbott, Page and Sydney, Patricia Tannis, "The Philadelphia Ten", American Art Review Press,1998, p. 157.
  6. ^ Ashley, Stephanie L. "A FINDING AID TO THE FERARGIL GALLERIES RECORDS, CIRCA 1900-1963, IN THE ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 


  • Folk,Thomas (1997). The Pennsylvania Impressionists. Madison: Farleigh Dickenson University Press. ISBN 0-8386-3699-3. 
  • Peterson, Brian H. (Editor) (2002). Pennsylvania Impressionism. Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum and University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3700-5. 
  • Talbott, Page and Sydney, Patricia Tannis (1998). The Philadelphia Ten. Kansas City: American Art Review Press. 
  • Gee See (May 22, 1930). "Folks Worth Knowing in the Delaware Valley: M. Elizabeth Price, Painter of Exotic Panels". Lambertville Record (Lambertville, NJ). 
  • "M. Elizabeth Price, Artist, Teacher, Dies". Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia). Feb 20, 1965. 

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