The painter Mary Rogers Williams, a baker’s daughter from Hartford, Connecticut, may be the only nineteenth-century woman artist whose thoughts and feelings are almost fully known.
New Life for a Renaissance Woman from Brooklyn
Back in January, a painting at Skinner Auctions’ sale of American and European Works of Art caught the eye of journalist and historian Eve M. Kahn. It was striking: a seated, semi-nude woman wearing a long, flowing train, tightly cropped and rendered with deft, impressionistic brush strokes. Kahn was eager to learn more about the artist, Edith Varian Cockcroft (1881–1962), but the facts of the Brooklyn native’s life proved elusive.