Ethel Painter Hood

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Ethel Painter Hood (April 9, 1908[note 1] – 1982) was an American sculptor.

Prior to becoming a sculptor, Hood had a varied career including stints as a marathon swimmer, writer, musician, and painter.[1] A native of Baltimore, she was the daughter of John Mifflin Hood, Jr., a civil engineer, and Ethel Gilpin Panter, daughter of an inventor and cousin of Howard Pyle. Initially interested in a swimming career – she planned to try out for the Olympics – she traveled to Europe with her family in the summer of 1926, where she took painting lessons at the Académie Julian in Paris and wrote free-lance articles for Vogue. Back home in Baltimore she took up the violin, which led her, after encouragement, to further study in New York; while there she took classes in oil painting at the Art Students League under Ivan Olinsky. Once again returning to Baltimore, she determined upon sculpture as a career. Hood was most interested in portraiture; among those who sat for her were Beatrice Lillie and Helen Hayes. She taught herself principles from a textbook, but also had two years of lessons with Brenda Putnam.[2] Hood's work so impressed Gutzon Borglum that he invited her to work with him in the Black Hills, but she refused.[3]

Hood showed her work throughout the United States during her career, and was a fellow of the National Sculpture Society and the National Association of Women Artists,[4] as well as being named a member of the Fine Arts Commission in 1959.[2] Brookgreen Gardens is among the collections holding examples of her work.[4]


  1. ^ At least one source gives a birthdate of 1906.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Robin R. Salmon (2009). Sculpture of Brookgreen Gardens. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 81–. ISBN 978-0-7385-6656-6.
  2. ^ a b "Ethel Painter Hood (1906–1982)". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  3. ^ Robert Joseph Casey (1952). Give the man room: the story of Gutzon Borglum. Bobbs-Merrill.
  4. ^ a b Jules Heller; Nancy G. Heller (19 December 2013). North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-63882-5.