Thursday, January 7, 2010

~MISS ELLEN HATTIE CLAPSADDLE...Your Amazing Work Lives On~

~UNSIGNED ARTWORK~
Early Valentine

If you are a lover of vintage graphics like I am, then no doubt you are aware of the amazing artwork created by Ellen Clapsaddle's hand. This was a blessed woman indeed. From the first time I laid eyes on her beautiful paintings I fell in love with her work and I've been a fan ever since.

Like many artists of her day, and especially so because she was a woman, her life was full of many tragic turns.

~SIGNED ARTWORK~
A Valentine Favorite

She was born Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle on January 8, 1863. She passed away 75 years ago today...one day short of her 69th birthday.


~MORE SIGNED ARTWORK~

While doing a bit of research about Miss Ellen's life I learned she was a shy and delicate child who loved to draw. Encouraged by both her parents and teachers, she grew into one of the most prolific greeting card and postcard artists of her time.

Oddly enough there doesn't seem to be a drawing or image of the woman who brought so much beauty into the world...

Miss Ellen graduated from Richfield Springs Seminary in Richfield Springs, New York in1882 and went on to further her art education at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Later she returned home to South Columbia where she began offering painting lessons in her home.

~MY FAVORITE FAIRY~
Unsigned

After the death of her father in 1891, Ellen and her mother moved in with an aunt who lived back in Richfield Springs. For many years she continued to give art lessons, painted, made endless illustrations and even did some freelance artwork. She went on to spend several years in Germany working for International Art Company.

~VICTORIAN PRINT~
Signed - One In a Series

After returning to New York around 1906, Ellen was hired by the Wolf Brothers (a sub-company of International Art Company) as an Illustrator. During her time at Wolf her success was unequaled. Following their lead, Ellen invested heavily in German postcard firms and later traveled there to work with their engravers. Her mother passed away while overseas.

Unbelievably, Ellen was their sole artist. Can you even imagine that today?


In August 1914, during the outbreak of World War I, Ellen was still in Germany. The Factories were destroyed, including most all her original paintings and drawings and prints. Not only were the business records burned, but because of the ongoing War incoming messages were never received or answered. Before long Miss Ellen found herself far from the United States, she was penniless and alone.
~ALTERED ART~
Using Miss Clapsaddle's Work

It was impossible for the Wolf Brothers to receive supplies coming from Germany. Heavily affected by the war, they eventually closed their business. When the War ended, and with loan money, one of the brothers traveled to Europe in search of Ellen. She was finally found six months later wandering the streets. She was hungry and very ill and only 55 years old.

She was brought her back to New York as she was no longer capable of earning a living. Her health quickly declined. Mr. Wolf, her caregiver, died penniless himself only a few years after returning with Ellen to America. Now alone and mentally incapacitated, she entered The Peabody Home in New York City in January 1932. She passed away about two years later. She was completely broke and alone. She had never married, had no siblings and bore no children.

~MY VERY FAVORITE IMAGE~
This One I Paid Big Bucks For

Ellen Clapsaddle remains my FAVORITE Vintage Postcard Artist of all time. I love her work. I love her vision. I love her passion. On this anniversary of her passing I pray she knows how much the beautiful images she created long ago have been dearly loved and adored.

Thank you, Miss Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle. You continue to bless us all. If you'd like to read one of my previous posts on Miss Clapsaddle, just click HERE.

Blessings to you as you honor those who have gone before...Rebecca

18 comments:

Lisa T. said...

Dear Rebecca, what a humbling life Ms. Clapsaddle led, (LOVE that name!). Thank you for sharing her story.

Smiles,
Lisa

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Rebecca, her illustrations are just beautiful!!! I love them all ~ it's sad to hear her story but I'm sure she must know how appreciated her little masterpieces are ~ Congratulation on the WW loss!!! I'm so excited to be eating healthier ~ I am cooking this way for my husband and my son so we can all get OFF of sugar so much and the bad carbs. I love hearing success stories as it inspires me to keep on keeping on!!! hugs and love, Dawn

Marilyn said...

Hi Rebecca!!
The last time you mentioned her work I looked her bio up & it is quite interesting. I think her art is amazing....... I bet there are a lot of other artists that are forgotten.
Lovely Post!!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

My Pink & Cream Cottage said...

I too love the work of this amazing Lady. Thank you for this post I never knew much about her & find it sad a woman with so much talent & so much to give should have so much hardness in her later life & by todays standards she wasn't even old..... Of all her drawings I too love the little girl in pink the most...... Wish your Darlin'a very happy birthday from me & don't forget that kiss & cuddle I asked you to give him....

Have a great day Hun

Lyn xxx

Stacey said...

I've never heard of her but I sure enjoyed reading this. The artwork is adorable.

Linda said...

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing all about Ellen Clapsaddle. I also have adored her vintage images, but I didn't know anything about her until I read your blog.
It brought tears to my eyes!

Lisa said...

Such a tragic ending for so talented a lady! And what beautiful artwork. You are the perfect steward of Miss Ellen's work. I'm glad it found it's way into your hands.

Shabby Cottage Shoppe said...

Thanks for the wonderful information on this talented artist. I love her work too!
Gail

Secondhandrose said...

Thank you Rebecca for the lesson on Miss Clapsaddle. Her work is superb and though I have seen some of these images before I was not sure who the artist was. Strive to learn something new everyday is what my father always said. You're a good teacher.

karen

Dolores said...

oh my, Ellen Clapsaddle's vintage art work is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing her story.

The art work you have on your beautiful blog ..... always leaves me oooohing and aaaaahing!

Love
Dolores

Lisa said...

How lovely! Thanks for the great information! I have never heard of her but her stuff is amazing. It is always a pleasure to visit!!
Hugs, Lisa

Cathy said...

Oh I love these...adorable!!!

You find the best goodies!!!

Enjoy!!!
XOXO
Cathy

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Thank you Rebecca, I hadn't heard how hard her life had been. I have always loved her work, and postcard imagery. Such a sad end to her and her employers lives.
Now I want to ask you this. Where was that 20 pounds that you lost? I never saw it on you! It's wonderful that you have done so well, especially throughout the holidays! And I cannot imagine you ever looking schleppy, even in black sweats!
Big hugs,
Debra

Sares said...

What an absolutely fascinating post! Her artwork is certainly something to be treasured. Thank you for sharing some of her art and her story with us!

Anonymous said...

THANKS, REBECCA, FOR THE INFORMATION AND PICTURES OF THIS GREAT ARTIST. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED HER WORK, TOO, BUT SOME OF THE PICTURES I DID NOT KNOW WERE HERS. I AM HAPPY TO FIND OUT THEY ARE.
SUCH A SAD LIFE FOR SUCH A TALENTED PERSON. SHE WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED FOR HER BEAUTIFUL ART
LOVE, FRANCY

Rita said...

You always have such beautiful work on your posts! I thank you for it, as I love beautiful things.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rebecca, these really are beautiful!

I love Victorian artwork... I have a collection of postcards that my grandmother saved that are wonderful. The images are so neat!


XO,

Sheila :-)

Miss Gracie's House said...

What heart to put with the name...I had heard of her but did not know her story...thanks for sharing.
Sweet tribute to honor your husband!
Rene'

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