Hollyhocks in the Sunshine

Laura Coombs Hills American

Not on view

A native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, Laura Coombs Hills began her career as an acclaimed painter of miniature portraits. After 1920, and likely due to failing eyesight, she shifted to floral still lifes, primarily produced with handmade pastel sticks she purchased in France. In her lifetime, Hills was celebrated for the fresh, modernist aesthetic she brought to a traditional subject, one especially associated with women artists. She is best known today for her pastels of flowers. This pastel is a rare example of Hills painting flowers en plein air rather than in an indoor tabletop setting. It demonstrates her mastery of the medium with its accomplished rendering of brilliant sunlight flickering across the blossoms.

Hollyhocks in the Sunshine, Laura Coombs Hills (American, 1859–1952), Pastel on paperboard, American

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