Edwin Romanzo Elmer
Spending most of his life in Ashfield, Massachusetts, Elmer is best known for his painting Mourning Picture. This 1890 family portrait depicts the artist, his wife, and their daughter Effie who had died shortly before it was painted. The painting is noted for its intricate detail and the contrast between the mourning family, who sit in relative darkness, and the dead daughter, who is bathed in sunlight. It was first displayed in a local post office in 1890, then disappeared until the 1950s, when a niece of the artist showed it to the director of the Smith Museum. It was then that Elmer's talent was first recognized and his paintings put on display.