Celebrating First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson

On September 4 and 5, the Woodrow Wilson House generously extended free admission to NMWA members and their guests for the opening weekend of The Art of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson: American Impressionist. Twenty-two NMWA members took advantage of the opportunity to visit the site and learn more about the First Lady’s life and art.

Ellen Axson Wilson (1860-1914) was not only a First Lady, mother, and humanitarian, she was also an artist. Her career spanned from 1875 when she first began studying art at the Female College in Rome, Georgia, to her death in 1914 of Bright’s disease, a chronic ailment of the kidneys. She also attended the Art Students League in New York where she studied under leading American artists of the day, including George de Forest Brush, Thomas W. Dewing, Frederick Warren Freer, and Julian Alden Weir.

The exhibit celebrates the 150th anniversary of the First Lady’s birth and features a selection of eighteen impressionist landscapes painted by the first Mrs. Wilson, including five works which have not been on public display since the artist’s lifetime, four works recently acquired by Woodrow Wilson House, and five recently restored works. The exhibit will be on view through April 10, 2011.

The Woodrow Wilson House is located at 2340 S Street, N.W., Washington, DC.  For more information about this exhibit contact the Woodrow Wilson House at 202-387-4062 or visit woodrowwilsonhouse.org.

Ellen Axson Wilson, Landscape with Stumps and Pond, c. 1911-12