Media File
Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones
Date: American painter, 1885–1968
Biography: Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones was raised in Baltimore and Philadelphia, the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor. She entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1902 and progressed rapidly, winning prizes and a scholarship to study abroad, which her family insisted she refuse. She studied with William Merritt Chase and absorbed his bravura brushwork. Between 1907 and 1912, her impressionist paintings of women shopping, reading, and playing on roller skates were exhibited nationally and attracted awards, critical praise, and purchasers. However, after her father's death in 1910 and her sister's marriage in 1913, Jones fell into depression. Her aging mother placed her in the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, where she stayed until 1916. After her release she moved in with her mother. She exhibited sporadically in the late teens and early twenties, and began to frequent the MacDowell Colony, an artists' and writers' retreat in New Hampshire. She increasingly shouldered the burden of caring for her aging mother. Her career was on track again by the thirties, and in the forties she regularly exhibited at Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in New York and received critical praise for her dark and fantastic images of women.