Biography: Elizabeth Shippen Green (Elliott) was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Jasper Green, an engraver, illustrator, and Civil War correspondent who encouraged her childhood interest in art. Howard Pyle's illustrations in St. Nicholas helped inspire her to become an illustrator. At 18, she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she studied under Thomas Eakins, Robert Vonnoh, and Thomas Anshutz. She began illustrating women's fashions for store catalogs, newspapers, and children's magazines while at the Academy. She then spent time in Europe for art study and travel.
Shippen Green had already worked for the Ladies' Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Harper's Weekly, and other publications when she enrolled in Howard Pyle's class at Drexel Institute in 1894. There she met Violet Oakley and Jessie Willcox Smith, who would become her lifelong friends and fellow illustrators. From 1901 to 1905, she lived with them, and Henrietta Cozens, in a home they called the Red Rose Inn in Villanova (PA); Oakley, Willcox Smith and Shippen Green were covered in the press as The Red Rose Girls.
In 1901, Shippen Green signed an exclusive contract with Harper's Magazine, which endured to the mid-1920s. Harper's was at the forefront of high-quality color reproduction, and her work - often characterized by strong colors and patterns - was ideal for both children's and adult texts. Shippen Green illustrated over twenty books, and created numerous pictures for leading magazines of her day. Her advertising clients included Kodak, Ivory soap, Elgin watches, and Peerless ice cream freezers.
In 1905, when the Red Rose Inn was sold, the four women moved to a farm they called Cogslea, an amalgam of their initials. Shippen Green announced her engagement to Huger Elliott, a Philadelphia architect and educator. They did not marry until 1911, as she did not want to burden him with the care of her parents. They then moved to Rhode Island, where Elliott became the director of the Rhode Island School of Design, and later to Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Together, they collaborated on a book of illustrated nonsense verse. In 1951, after her husband's death, Shippen Green retired to Philadelphia.