American Schoolgirl Art 1790-1830


Today is International Women’s Day. To celebrate I suggest you read this exquisite illustrated history of the earliest American education for girls and women. The Female Accomplishments honor our American great-great-grand-girl-mothers. Between the late 1700s and 1830 American Schoolgirls accomplished watercolor paintings on fine wooden pieces that are together valuable antiques and a pathway to our past.

Discover the long lost art of painting on wood by American Schoolgirl Artisans in the earliest days of the nation.  Emily Dickinson’s paternal aunt, Lucretia, Harriet and Catherine Beecher, and the daughters of some of New England’s most famous families were artisans of women’s painted furniture.

Women’s Painted Furniture, 1790-1830: American Schoolgirl Art by Betsy Krieg Salm (University Press of New England, 2010) is a treasure and keepsake. This lost art and the history of its students and practitioners is an amazing untold tale of women’s education. Abigail Adams’ writings look less radical against the recovered history of women’s education. The roots to America’s rural Female Academies and Eastern seaboard Women’s Colleges are bound together by its focus on this art and its instruction.

Betsy Krieg Salm is an artist who creates historical reproductions of these early American pieces. In her book she shares her recipes, techniques, historical sources and the provenance for the never-published-before photographed items; originals and her reproductions.

This is a book to enjoy during the end of winter. Filled with the whimsy of young girls’ paintings filled with flowers and insects, animals and scenic summer views. It makes you want to go through it with your daughter just so she sees what young girls accomplished under instruction more than 200 years ago. See if you can cultivate the artist in a young woman today. Share this book and celebrate the contributions to history of women worldwide.

Women's Painted Furniture, 1790-1830: American Schoolgirl Art

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Filed under History, Non-Fiction New Releases

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