Ida P. Lathrop (1859-1937)

Ida Pulis Lathrop (1859-1937) and her two talented daughters, the illustrator Dorothy Pulis (1891-1981) and sculptor Gertrude Katherine (1896-1986), made up the very hub of the turn of the century Albany art world. Growing up in a cultured Troy, New York, family, Ida was entirely self-taught yet became known for her oil still lifes and portraits of her daughters, and exhibited these works in her hometown as well as in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore.  Her entries to exhibitions at the National Academy of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Society of Independent Artists and the Boston Art Club attest to her interest in antiquities and exotics.   She exhibited works under such titles as From the Dust of Egypt, From an Ancient Shrine and From the Valley of the Kings, illustrating her cultured education and refined tastes.

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Ida worked out of the family’s Queen Anne style home that she had designed, painting from a third-floor studio with northern lighting.  Her daughters eventually joined her in this space, but when room became tight, they expanded into two new studios in the back garden.  These outbuildings were surrounded by an assortment of cages housing the family’s numerous animals.  Porcupines, sheep, turtles, raccoons, goats and squirrels all found their way into the Lathrop women’s artwork. 

This creative woman went on to join the National Association of Women Artists in 1926, and has made her greatest contribution to the arts through the encouragement of her daughters. 

References:  Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Exhibition catalog 2006, Flora, Fauna, & Fantasy: The Art of Dorothy Lathrop;  Falk, National Academy of Design 1901-1950;  Art Institute of Chicago 1888-1950Who Was Who in American Art;  Pettey, Dictionary of Women Artists

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