Elizabeth Shippen Green

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Elizabeth Shippen Green
Elizabeth Shippen Green
BornSeptember 1, 1871 (1871-09)
DiedMay 29, 1954 (1954-05-30)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Known forIllustration
AwardsMary Smith Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Elizabeth Shippen Green (September 1, 1871 – May 29, 1954) was an American illustrator. She illustrated children's books and worked for publications such as The Ladies' Home Journal, The Saturday Evening Post and Harper's Magazine.


Green enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1887 and studied with the painters Thomas Pollock Anshutz, Thomas Eakins, and Robert Vonnoh.[2] She then began study with Howard Pyle at Drexel Institute where she met Violet Oakley and Jessie Willcox Smith.[3]

New Woman[edit]

As educational opportunities were made more available in the 19th century, women artists became part of professional enterprises, including founding their own art associations. Artwork made by women was considered to be inferior, and to help overcome that stereotype women became “increasingly vocal and confident” in promoting women's work, and thus became part of the emerging image of the educated, modern and freer “New Woman”.[4] Artists "played crucial roles in representing the New Woman, both by drawing images of the icon and exemplifying this emerging type through their own lives.” In the late 19th century and early 20th century about 88% of the subscribers of 11,000 magazines and periodicals were women. As women entered the artist community, publishers hired women to create illustrations that depict the world through a woman's perspective. Other successful illustrators were Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, Jessie Willcox Smith, Rose O'Neill, and Violet Oakley.[5]

Green was a member of Philadelphia's The Plastic Club, an organization established to promote "art for art's sake". Other members included Elenore Abbott, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Violet Oakley.[6] Many of the women who founded the organization had been students of Howard Pyle. It was founded to provide a means to encourage one another professionally and create opportunities to sell their works of art.[6][7]


She was publishing before she was eighteen and began making pen and ink drawings and illustrations for St. Nicholas Magazine, Woman's Home Companion, and The Saturday Evening Post. In 1901 she signed an exclusive contract with the monthly Harper's Magazine.[8] Green was also a book illustrator.[8]

In 1903, she and Florence Scovel Shinn became the first women to be elected Associate Members of the Society of Illustrators even though women were not allowed to be full members of the organization at that time. [9] In 1905, Green won the Mary Smith Prize at the annual Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibition.[10] In 1994, she was elected posthumously to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Violet Oakley, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Henrietta Cozens, ca. 1901

Green became close and lifelong friends with Oakley and Smith. They lived together first at the Red Rose Inn (they were called "the Red Rose girls" by Pyle) and later at Cogslea, their home in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.[12]

In 1911, at the age of forty, Green married Huger Elliott, an architecture professor, after a five-year engagement, and moved away from Cogslea.[2] Green continued to work through the 1920s and illustrated a nonsense verse alphabet with her husband, An Alliterative Alphabet Aimed at Adult Abecedarians (1947).[13][8] Green died May 29, 1954.[8][1]


  1. ^ a b "Mrs. Huger Elliott Dies". The New York Times. June 1, 1954. p. 27.
      Quote: "died Saturday in a nursing home here" (Philadelphia).
  2. ^ a b Hamburger, Susan (1998). Smith, Steven E.; Hastedt, Catherine A.; Dyal, Donald H. (eds.). American Book and Magazine Illustrators to 1920. Detroit: Gale Research. ISBN 978-0-7876-1843-8.
  3. ^ Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ Laura R. Prieto. At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America. Harvard University Press; 2001. ISBN 978-0-674-00486-3. pp. 145–46.
  5. ^ Laura R. Prieto. At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America. Harvard University Press. 2001. ISBN 978-0-674-00486-3. p. 160–61.
  6. ^ a b Jill P. May; Robert E. May; Howard Pyle. Howard Pyle: Imagining an American School of Art. University of Illinois Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-252-03626-2. p. 89.
  7. ^ "The Plastic Club Records". Collection 3106. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (hsp.org). Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d "About Elizabeth Shippen Green". Petal from the Rose: Illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green. An exhibition in the Swann Gallery of Caricature and Cartoon, Library of Congress, 2001. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Grove, Jaleen. "A Brief History Of Sexism And The Illustration Industry". Ravishly. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1914). Catalogue of the Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture. pp. 10–11.
  11. ^ Hall of Fame. Society of Illustrators. Retrieved March 8, 2015. Archived November 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Violet Oakley Historic Marker". Explore PA History. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Helen Goodman. "Women Illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration". Woman's Art Journal. 1987. Archived at JSTOR.org. Retrieved October 23, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Carter, Alice A. The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love. New York: H.N. Abrams. 2000. ISBN 9780810944374.
  • Goodman, Helen. "Women Illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration". Woman's Art Journal. 8:1 (Spring–Summer 1987): 13–22.
  • Herzog, Charlotte. "A Rose by Any Other Name: Violet Oakley, Jessie Wilcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green". Woman's Art Journal (1993): 11–16.
  • Likos, Patt. "The Ladies of the Red Rose". Feminist Art Journal. 5 (Fall 1976): 11–15, 43.

External links[edit]