About the Exhibition
Ethel Marion Campbell Hawthorne was an American painter. Born in Joliet, Illinois, Hawthorne studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and with William Merritt Chase at the Shinnecock School in Shinnecock Hills, Long Island. In 1903, she married the painter Charles Webster Hawthorne, with whom she had a son, Joseph. Their marriage allowed artistic freedom for both parties, and she became noted for her watercolor and gouache paintings that appeared transparent because of her skill in applying thin washes of color across the paper and of achieving great mastery over abstract space. Her work has been described as having “a freshness and beauty that is quite enchanting.” (American Art Review)
She belonged to the Pen and Brush Club–the only international nonprofit organization providing a platform to showcase the work of professional emerging and mid-career female artists and writers to a broader audience. She was also a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors– one of the oldest artist organizations in this country. It was founded in 1889 by a group of women who realized that only by combining forces could they battle with the strong discrimination against women artists, which was common at that time. They sought an opportunity to exploit their own work in a legitimate way, and offered women artists in rural areas the benefit of the strength of community, which comes with associated effort.
In 1936, she compiled and published her husband’s teaching notes titled Hawthorne on Painting.
She died in New York in 1945.
PAAM gratefully acknowledges Caro Hawthorne, James Bakker, Charlie Nichols and Christine Niles, Napi and Helen Van Dereck, and Berta Walker.