Biography: Eugenie M. Wireman (1874-1961) was born in 1874 in Philadelphia, and she lived there for most of her life. During her career as a free-lance artist, she created hundreds of illustrations, painting numerous covers for national magazines and illustrating many magazine stories and children’s books.
Eugenie’s parents were of German descent, and her father was a lawyer. The family often traveled to Europe when Eugenie was young, and she studied for a year in Belgium. She and her three siblings all played musical instruments and had artistic talent. Eugenie played the harp.
From 1897 to 1900, Eugenie studied with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. There she met Katharine Richardson, a fellow art student who became Eugenie’s lifelong friend and later married Eugenie’s brother Henry, also an artist.
Shortly after completing their art study at Drexel, Eugenie and Katharine rented a studio together and became fashion illustrators for a leading Philadelphia newspaper. Soon they also illustrated for The Ladies’ Home Journal.
For many years, Eugenie maintained a studio at 1020 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. During this time, she painted many covers for national magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Woman’s Home Companion, St. Nicholas and The Country Gentleman. She also illustrated books for children, including Five Little Peppers and Their Friends, Miss Philura’s Wedding Gown, Pretty Polly Flinders, and more. In addition, she illustrated many magazine stories and, uniquely, created a huge Christmas painting that Philadelphia’s Wanamaker department store exhibited during the winter holidays for many years.
In 1932, Eugenie married Bill Dawson, the brother of her sister Marie’s husband.
Eugenie and Bill lived in Philadelphia and New York City, and Eugenie died in Philadelphia in 1961.