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The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love
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The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  74 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A beautiful art book and a richly illustrated biography, The Red Rose Girls is the story of three remarkable women artists--Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Violet Oakley--who captivated early-twentieth-century society with their brilliant careers and bohemian lifestyle. Nicknamed by their mentor, the famous illustrator Howard Pyle, The Red Rose Girls liv ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 23rd 2002 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2000)
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Oct 06, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, art
When I first learned about the publication of this book, my initial reaction was keen disappointment. I had, to a small degree, researched the lives of early 20th century illustrators Elizabeth Shippen Green and Jessie Wilcox Smith, and was captivated by them. I knew that for many years they shared a home in an idyllic old house on Philadelphia's main line with a third artist, Violet Oakley, and a fourth friend, Harriet Cozzens, who did the gardening and managed the household. I was going to wri ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Bridget rated it liked it
For a book about three painters, there were definitely not enough pictures. And the odd focus on whether they were lesbians or not, well---I appreciate historical context, but to keep referring to the issue over and over instead of talking about them as painters and their work was simply annoying. Add that to the fact that the author did not make it easy to keep track of which artist was which (pick a last name or a first name, not either/or) - it was just not as good as I wanted it to be. I enj ...more
Jun 02, 2014 thestorygirl rated it really liked it
I came across this book at the library and was instantly drawn to the aesthetic of the cover, and then I noted the familiar name Jessie Willcox Smith, and when I flipped it open to the page that mentioned that Violet measured the Red Rose Inn property not in acres but in poetry ("four sonnets to the woods"), and I was enchanted.

A wonderful, fascinating overview of the lives, careers, and friendships of the wonderful artists/illustrators Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Violet Oakle
Aug 11, 2011 Ever rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at three early 20th-century illustrators and their works, as well as their friendship with one another. I would love to see this story become a screenplay.
Sep 17, 2008 Dawn rated it really liked it
I was fascinated to learn more about Jessie Willcox Smith and her artist friends, Violet Oakley and Elizabeth Shippen Green who inhabited Red Rose Inn managed by thier friend Henrietta Cozens who had no career aspirations. Jessie was very successful and today best known for her monthly Good Housekeeping Covers for nearly 30 years and her illustrations for childrens books. One tribute to her was "nothing morbid or bitter ever came from her brush". Violet Oakley painted huge murals for the state h ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Beautiful picture book and bio. of turn of the century illustrators Jessie Wilcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Violet Oakley who set up household with Henrietta Cozens.

Their idyllic life ended with the marriage of Green. They were independent, brilliant artists whose lesbian relationships were not publicly recognized. Victorian society allowed young women to be effusively in love.

I need to see Oakley's mural in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. It measures 15 X 41 feet and is called The co
Thorn MotherIssues
Jan 25, 2012 Thorn MotherIssues rated it really liked it
Other people are complaining that there's too much talk about whether or not the artists were lesbians, but I really felt like there wasn't all that much. I've known Jessie Willcox Smith's work but hadn't known about the others or the household they built, and found all of that fascinating. it's got me wondering whether we're the first lesbian family to live in our 110-year-old house!
Aug 14, 2011 Monique rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
The red rose girls were four early twentieth century women- two being successful illustrators of the time, one equally successful muralist and the fourth rose...the woman who took care of the home they all resided in. They swore allegiance to their arrangement for all time, which did last for many years. A wonderful story of community, collaboration, love and art!
Elizabeth Holtsclaw
Apr 09, 2011 Elizabeth Holtsclaw rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. I love the social history, women's history and art history. I even love the layout of the book. This is not a book for kindle, you need to savor the full color illustrations. Finally, I love the story. What amazing women and a sweet story of friendship and productive art careers.
Apr 08, 2011 Vikki rated it really liked it
This is the story of three artist. They were Jessie Wilcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. These were artist that drew for Scribners, Colliers and Harpers magazines and other things in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I really enjoyed this book.
Jul 20, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, bios-memoir
A delightful, entertaining, educational book. I knew nothing about these 3 (4 counting the non-artist of the household) artists who lived together (likely, romantically) about 100 years ago, but sure did enjoy getting to know them.
Mary Harju
Nov 30, 2008 Mary Harju rated it really liked it
This is one of the few books in print about Violet Oakley and her mural painting. The real boon of this book is the illustrations. Also covered is the art of Jesse Wilcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green.
Jess Poland
May 05, 2011 Jess Poland rated it really liked it
A beautiful book and a wonderful depiction of talented and amazing women. The author did a fantastic job researching the subjects and telling their tale. They lived in Mt Airy!!
May 07, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
this book gave an interesting insight to the development on women in the world of art and some the challenges they faced trying get an education in this field.
Sep 06, 2008 Truda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was the true story of a group of female artists in the early 1900s. The writing is very academic, but the subject matter was fascinating.
Melinda Jane Harrison (Girls and Their Goblins)
Love this. Had it for a while and never read it, although I browsed the pages. Excellent. I love artist and writer communities.
Mar 04, 2015 Ginny rated it it was ok
A potentially interesting book, very poorly written, in my opinion.
Jul 07, 2010 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To know this book is to know me, in many ways.
Meena Gupta
Jun 28, 2008 Meena Gupta rated it it was amazing
The emerging women's right movement
Aug 10, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and well written.
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