Wickliffe Covington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wickliffe Covington
Born Mary Wickliffe Cooper
July 2, 1867
Shelby County, Kentucky
Died December 1, 1938
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Nationality American
Education Art Students League of New York and Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer, William Merritt Chase
Known for Painting

Wickliffe Cooper Covington (July 2, 1867 – December 1, 1938) was a 19th-century and early-20th-century American woman painter.

Early life[edit]

She was the daughter of Robert Wickliffe Cooper and Sarah Steele (Venable) Cooper,[1] but she never knew her father; he died a few weeks before she was born. Her father had been a Union Army cavalry officer during the Civil War.


She studied at Sayre Female Institute, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Art Students League of New York.[2] She also studied art with Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer[2][3] — with whom she would remain a close friend[4]James Carroll Beckwith, Kenyon Cox, William Merritt Chase and Wayman Elbridge Adams.[2][5]


Covington exhibited at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.[6]

She taught art at Potter College for Young Ladies in Bowling Green, Kentucky.[2] After that, she painted and taught art in a studio in a cabin that she renovated that was near her residence.[7]

Along with noted artists, such as William Merritt Chase and photographer Ansel Adams, Covington was an artist and resident of the Carmel art colony.[8] Her first recorded visit was during the spring and summer of 1911, when she exhibited "tooled leather" at the Annual of the Carmel Arts and Crafts Club.[9] She purchased a studio-home, continued as a regular seasonal resident with her husband, and exhibited on the Pacific coast with the Monterey County Fair, Santa Cruz Art League, and Carmel Art Association until 1937.[9] She also exhibited her art in the southern United States.[10]

Her painting Portrait of Clarence Underwood McElroy is in the Kentucky Museum collection of the Western Kentucky University.[10][11] About 1895 she made a portrait of Judge Robert William Wells (1795-1864) of Missouri.[7] In addition to the paintings that she made of notable Bowling Green residents, she also painted still lifes and flowers.[12] She made a poster Aunt Jane of Kentucky, which was used to promote Eliza Calvert Hall's daughter's teahouse business.[13]

Her works were exhibited in 2001 at the Kentucky Women Artists, 1850-1970 show at the Kentucky Library & Museum, Owensboro Museum of Art.[7]

Personal life[edit]

On May 18, 1892, she married Robert Wells Covington,[14] who had his Bachelor of Law degree and then worked in farming.[15] They had four children, all born in Kentucky: son Euclid, daughter Margaret, daughter Wickliffe, and son Wells.[16] The Covingtons also had a home in Carmel, California.[10]

She died in Bowling Green on December 1, 1938, having predeceased her husband who died in 1949. Both husband and wife are buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, Kentucky.[17]


  1. ^ Wickliffe Cooper Covington. Died December 1, 1938. Kentucky. Vital Statistics Original Death Certificates – Microfilm (1911-1955). Microfilm rolls #7016130-7041803. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.
  2. ^ a b c d "Wickliffe Cooper Covington". Kentucky Women Artists. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  3. ^ Estill Curtis Pennington. Lessons in Likeness: Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920 : Featuring Works from the Filson Historical Society. University Press of Kentucky; 2011. ISBN 0-8131-2612-6. p. 164.
  4. ^ Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer. www.ifpda.org Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  5. ^ American Art Annual: 28, 1931, p.495; 30, 1933, p.475.
  6. ^ Kentucky at the World's Fair, St. Louis, 1904: being a report of the Commission authorized by an act of the General Assembly to the governor of the commonwealth. Kentucky Digital Library. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Wickliffe Cooper Covington. Kentucky Women Artists. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Steve Shipp. American Art Colonies, 1850-1930: A Historical Guide to America's Original Art Colonies and Their Artists. Greenwood Publishing Group; 1996. ISBN 978-0-313-29619-2. p. 2.
  9. ^ a b Edwards, Robert W. (2012). Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, Vol. 1. Oakland, Calif.: East Bay Heritage Project. pp. 256, 264, 359, 688. ISBN 9781467545679.  An online facsimile of the entire text of Vol. 1 is posted on the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website (http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/10aa/10aa557.htm).
  10. ^ a b c "Portrait of Clarence Underwood McElroy, n.d." (archived webpage). Kentucky Museum. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  11. ^ Kentucky Women Artists: Slideshow. Kentucky Museum. Western Kentucky University. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Wickliffe (Cooper) Covington. Kentucky Women Artists. Kentucky Museum. Western Kentucky University. Retrieved April 25, 2014. (Original url was http://www.wku.edu/Library/onlinexh/kwa/covington.html)
  13. ^ Lynn E. Niedermeier. Eliza Calvert Hall: Kentucky Author and Suffragist. University Press of Kentucky; 1 January 2007. ISBN 0-8131-7279-9. p. 200.
  14. ^ "Gossip Going 'Round". Kentucky Leader. May 18, 1892. Retrieved April 25, 2014. "The marriage this evening of Miss Wickliffe Cooper to Mr. Robert Wells Covington, of Bowling Green, Ky., will be a very handsome affair."
  15. ^ Caduceus of Kappa Sigma. 1904. p. 413.
  16. ^ 1910 Warren County, Kentucky census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  17. ^ Wickliffe Cooper Covington Find a Grave. Retrieved April 24, 2014.