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Maker(s):Champney, James Wells
Culture:American (1843-1903)
Title:Print: A Girl
Date Made:1883
Type:Print
Materials:etching on paper
Place Made:United States; Masschusetts: Deerfield or New York State: New York
Narrative Inscription:  Inscribed "A GIRL" and "JW Champney 83" on the plate; Signed in pencil, 'J Wells Champney" LR margin
Accession Number:  HD 2021.25.2
Credit Line:Gift of the Estate of Christopher P. Monkhouse
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
2021-25-2t.jpg

Description:
Born in Boston, James Wells Champney (1843-1903) served in the 45th Massachusetts Volunteers from 1862-1863 before being invalided out of the army; he then taught drawing at Dr. Dio Lewis's "Young Ladies Seminary" from 1864-1866. After deciding to become a professional artist, Champney moved to Europe where he studied in France with Pierre Edouard Frere (1819-1886), a well-known French realist genre painter; in Antwerp with Joseph Francois Henri Van Lerius (1823-1876); and in Italy. In 1870, Champney returned to Boston where he opened a studio; in 1873, he was commissioned by "Scribner's Monthly Magazine" to illustrate "The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland," a series of articles on the Reconstruction South by Edward King (1848-1896) where the two travelled more than 25,000 miles and Champney contributed at least 500 illustrations. In 1873, Champney married Elizabeth Johnson Williams (1850-1922), whom he had met at the "Young Ladies Seminary;" she was a graduate of the Vassar class of 1869 who became a popular children's author of her period and many of whose whose works Champney illustrated. Born in Springfield, Ohio, Elizabeth Williams was the half-sister of Orson Bennet Williams (1834-1912) and daughter of Samuel Barnard Williams (1803-1884), originally of Deerfield, whose second wife was Caroline Johnson (d.1885) whom he married in 1844; the granddaughter of Elijah Williams (1767-1832) who married Hannah Barnard (1772-1853), daughter of Samuel Barnard (1721-1788) of Deerfield, in 1803; and great-granddaugher of Dr. Thomas Williams (1718-1775) of Deerfield. In 1876 the Champneys moved into Samuel Barnard Williams' house in Deerfield where Champney built a studio; they lived in Deerfield for several years while he was professor of art at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and one of the founders of the Smith Art Gallery. In 1879, Champney opened a studio in New York City, and from that time on the Deerfield became their summer home. James and Elizabeth had two children: Edward Frere (1874-1929) who studied art and became an architect, and Maria Mitchell (1876-1906) who was born in Deerfield, married John Sanford Humphreys in 1899, and was a miniature painter. This print depicts a young girl with long curly hair, she holds a doll in one arm and another in her hand, she is dressed in a white blouse with a kerchief, and a dark shirt, she wears boots, the print is inscribed "A GIRL" and "JW Champney 83" on the plate; Signed in pencil, 'J Wells Champney" on the lower right hand margin. This is a companion print to 2021.25.1 A Boy.

Tags:
children; play

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2021.25.2

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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