Elizabeth O'Neill Verner images and biography
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(1883-1979)

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See also: Charleston Renaissance; American Art; Women Artists

"Probably the best-known twentieth-century woman artist of Charleston was Elizabeth O'Neill Verner. The daughter of a rice-broker, she received her early education in Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina. Her artistic ability already apparent at the age of fourteen (the year she sold her first painting), she received encouragement from Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, the Charleston artist. Verner enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1903, studying for two years before returning to Charleston. Soon after her return, she married E. Pettigrew Verner, and raised a family of two children while painting scenes of Charleston in her spare time. In 1923, shortly after completing her first etching, she helped to organize the Charleston Society of Etchers. When her husband died in 1925, Verner turned to her art as a means of supporting herself and her family, and became a prolific pastellist and printmaker.

"The Flower Vendor is an example of the sensitivity that Verner conveyed in her carefully drawn and richly colored images of these black street merchants. She considered the flower vendors to be an integral part of the charm of Charleston, and once had to champion their cause to prevent the city of Charleston from banning them from the streets as a traffic nuisance. Verner's unique technique of drawing in pastel on dampened silk mounted on wood is also represented [in that work].

"In addition to Verner's many art memberships and awards (she had been, among her other activities, a founder of the Southern States Art League and chairman of the Carolina Art Association), she was also a staunch preservationist, being a charter member of the Preservation Society of Charleston who helped to inspire similar efforts in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. She lectured on art and architecture at art and other clubs and universities in this country, Cuba, Mexico, and the Phillipines, and during both the First and Second World Wars she taught art to enlisted men in Charleston.

"Verner continued her education after 1925, studying etching in 1930 at the Central School of Art in London, and sumi painting with Rakasan in Kyoto, Japan. She received commissions from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, Rockefeller Center, Historic Williamsburg, the City of Fay, etteville, Harvard Medical School, the United States Military Academy, Princeton University, and the University of South Carolina, all to portray their buildings and gardens in drawings and etchings. She wrote four books illustrated with her etchings - Prints and Impressions of Charleston (1939); Mellowed by Time (1941); Other Places (1946); and Stonewall Ladies (1963), and also illustrated DuBose Heyward's Porgy. The recipient in her lifetime of three honorary degrees, Verner died in 1979 at the age of 95."

- By James M. Sauls, Curator, The Robert P. Coggins Collection, from "Art and Artists of the South: The Robert P. Coggins Collection"

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner works offered to purchase at Castile Galerie

Looking up Meeting Street, Charleston, S.C.
Etching
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St. Phillip's Steeple, Charleston. S.C.
Etching
5-3/8" x 2-1/8"
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Manda's Cabin
from the Rifle Range Road series
Etching
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Sharecroppers Houses
From the Rifle Range Road Series
Pastel on board
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St. Michael's Steeple, Charleston, S.C.
Etching
5.5" x 2.5"
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Sit a Rest Awhile
Original Color Lithograph
Signed, framed
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St. Michael's Church, Charleston. S.C.
Original Lithograph
Signed
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St. Michael's Over Roof Tops, Post Card
Post card
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Post Card Sketches of Mt. Vernon
Eight Post Card Sketches of Mt. Vernon
plus the Houdon Bust of Washington
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Mellowed by Time, Book by Elizabeth Verner
Signed first edition
with plates of her etchings
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New York City Street or European City Street
print of etching
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Untitled
print of etching
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Untitled
print of etching, signed
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Untitled
print of etching
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Untitled
print of etching, signed
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Untitled
print of etching, signed
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Untitled
print of etching, signed
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New York City
print of etching
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Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.
Signed and titled, framed
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Flower Sellers
Color Lithograph
Signed in pencil
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Plymouth
Print of Etching
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