Eleanor Parke Custis expanded her subject repertoire with three trips to Europe between 1926 and 1929, and was inspired by the Old World charm of Holland, northern France, Switzerland, and Italy, as seen in the colorful French Street Scene.
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A Mediterranean cruise in 1934 introduced her to the Near East, and the bustling, colorful streets and bazaars of Cairo added an exotic flair to her paintings. She gradually moved on to photography during the 1930s, and her picturesque camera technique, rooted in her training and experience as an accomplished watercolorist, earned her the title of “First Lady of Pictorial Photography” by 1935. Her gouaches from this period exhibit a candid, photojournalistic compositional quality with the introduction of figures cut off by the picture's edge, and some of Custis's last works in the gouache medium were picturesque scenes of life in Old New England.
Estate of the artist
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, with painting description