EDITH BRISCOE STEVENS
RUE DE LA CASBAH, TANGIER, MOROCCO
Oil on Fruitwood Panel
14¾ x 18 Inches
Signed Lower Left, "Edith Briscoe Stevens"
Titled, Verso, "Rude de la Casbah, Tangier, Morocco"
Panel bearing stamp of 'Lucien Lefevre-Foinet. 19, Vavin & 2, rue Bréa - Paris',
Manufacturer, dealer and shipper of artists’ materials
Born in Philadelphia in 1898, Edith Briscoe Stevens maintained her studio in the Rocky Neck artists' colony in East Gloucester, Massachusetts. She studied at the Hertford Art School under A.E. Jones, H. Leith-Ross and later, in Europe, with George Elmer Browne. A prolific artist, she was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club (PCC), Springfield Art League, Gloucester Society of Artists and the Rockport Art Association, among others. During her short career, Stevens exhibited widely with success including at the Toledo Art Museum (New York), Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (1925), the New Haven PCC (1931, prize), in Los Angeles, and Detroit.
With oils and pastels en plein aire, she painted landscapes and marine scenes, sometimes carrying her kit miles through Vermont snow, and traveling to France, Spain and Morocco as did many of her contemporaries in the 1920's. An outgoing and gregarious personality, according to The Hartford Courant, "..crowds worry her but little. In doing a row of house on different levels on a Portuguese street (in Gloucester), she tells how the children crowded in so as hardly to give her elbow room."
A well-trained draftsman, her work matured into a bolder, more personal expression than illustrative realism. The details of her early waterfront scenes which showed a mastery of precise form and nuanced color grew more passionate than, for example, Rocky Neck's most emblematic artist, Emile Gruppe, and freer in form than the highly regarded Harry Leith-Ross, with whom she studied. She loved brilliant color and rich texture and could express exquisite vibrations of reflected light on water and snow.
Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Peter Hastings Falk, Sound View Press 1999, Vol. 3, p. 3169; et al.
With thanks to Ann Brandwein, Assistant Archivist at the Wadsworth Atheneum.