Marguerite S. Pearson (1898-1978)
by Patricia Jobe Pierce
The following essay was written by Patricia Jobe Pierce and included in the catalogue for the Marguerite S. Pearson exhibition held at Pierce Galleries, Inc.
Marguerite S. Pearson's diversified and skilled painting abilities were learned under the banner of the Boston school of painting. Her major mentors were Edmund C. Tarbell, Frederick Bosley, William James and Aldro T. Hibbard. During her student days she lived in the Fenway Studios, Boston. By 1920 she had established herself as a professional artist while summering in Rockport, Massachusetts. In 1941 she was able to purchase land and build a studio-home in Rockport, where she became a respected member of the art community. First an illustrator for magazines, short stories and newspapers, Pearson rapidly developed her painting techniques and became a successful full-time genre and landscape painter. Because of the vast popularity of her interior genre views, publishing companies (Aaron Ashley, Inc.; David Ashley, Inc.; Bendien, Inc.) reproduced her works as color prints. Blue Danube was published in 1938 and by 1941 over 10,000 copies had been sold throughout the United States and abroad. (left: The Red Parasol, oil on canvas, 30 x 32 inches)
The struggle to obtain recognition as an artist is not an easy one, especially if the artist is an unmarried woman in a predominantly male-oriented profession. Having been stricken with polio in her early teens, Marguerite S. Pearson had the added disadvantage of being left a paraplegic for the rest of her life. Not wanting to burden or be overly dependent upon her family and friends, Pearson learned to manipulate a wheel chair well and never allowed her disability to hinder her life or career. She became a sought after teacher, juror and painter who played the guitar and piano admirably. Making a substantial living through portraiture, genre, still life and landscape painting, her work was popular, in demand, award winning and it was accepted openly by the critics. A. J. Philpott reviewing her 1924 Somerville exhibition, capsules our attitude toward Marguerite S. Pearson's work:
Marguerite S. Pearson was a competent American impressionist. We invite you to see her subtle well-balanced use of color; to study her organized sensitive designs; to explore her easy sure brush work. Pearson painted with freedom; had the advantage of knowing how to draw well; and shows a keen instinct for the broad effects of light, shade and shadow as they exist truthfully in nature. Her paintings embody the finest painting qualities of the renowned Boston School of painting, and they individually stand on their own refined merit.
1. Philpott, A.J., Art Page, Boston Globe, "Exhibition of Paintings by Marguerite S. Pearson," June, 1924, n.p. (Article in Pierce Galleries Inc.'s vertical file)
About the author
Patricia Jobe Pierce is an energetic, knowledgeable, experienced curator who assumes leadership. She organizes with finesse visually stimulating, world-class exhibitions that command public attention and critical acclaim. She strives to compile interesting, original exhibitions; scholarly easy-to-read exhibition catalogues; and artistic programs that have an educational outreach. Her substantial national and international contacts help her to collect responsibly and carefully fine paintings from private and institutional collections for major artistic, public exhibitions and because she is well acquainted with professional museum standards and practices, she orchestrates and supervises the development of extensive exhibitions with relative ease.
Pierce has been a full member of the Appraisers Association of America since 1974. As a world authority on American painting, she is an authenticator of American art for many leading U.S. auction houses and since 1969 she has handled the exhibition of over 10,000 paintings in galleries and museums from Maine to Texas.
As a witty, informed communicator and entertaining public speaker, Pierce's strong interpersonal skills encourage audiences to participate actively and to ask questions about paintings, artists and artistic techniques.
Pierce has a significant publication history. Books include:
Biographical essays include:
Curation for exhibitions:
News and magazine articles include:
Radio and television appearances:
Pierce has recently completed the text Edward Henry Potthast-More Than One Man; is currently completing Painters of the American Beach and is compiling Catalogue Raisonnes on Edmund C. Tarbell, John Joseph Enneking, Chauncey F. Ryder and Anne Carleton.
Every summer Pierce organizes American art exhibitions for The Gallery at 4 India Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and she gives lectures and leads open public art discussions throughout the summer months. Pierce is President of Pierce Galleries, Inc., a fine arts services company based in Hingham, Massachusetts.
Pierce has served on the New England Advisory Board for the Archives of American Art and is a member of the American Classical Realism Association; National Writer's Union; American Film Institute Alumni Association; Metropolitan Museum of Art; International Platform Committee; Smithsonian Institution; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fuller Memorial Museum and more. Her outstanding achievements have been listed in Who's Who in American Art (1980-2000) and she is listed in Who's Who of American Women, 1999-2000; Contemporary Authors, 1995- and 2000 Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century, 2000, and more.
Ms. Pierce's essay is courtesy of the author.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11
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