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By Carol Kort, Liz Sonneborn

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Additional resources for A to Z of American Women in the Visual Arts (Facts on File Library of American History)

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M. ” Colors and shapes were of particular interest to her, both in her needlepoint work and her profile portraits. In 1804 Henshaw married a professor at Dartmouth College, Dr. Asa Miles, who died in 1806. That same year she became the wife of Reverend Ezekiel Lysander Bascom and traveled with him from pastorate to pastorate, living mostly in Gill, 19 BEAUX, CECILIA Massachusetts. The couple also resided in Deerfield and Ashby, Massachusetts, and in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Although childless, as a pastor’s wife Bascom kept busy by planning and hosting social and religious events.

The couple came to the United States, settled in New York City, and eventually had three sons. ” She did not let raising three sons get in the way of her burgeoning career as an artist. ” Shortly after settling in New York, Bourgeois began studying at the avant-garde Art Students League. Her circle of friends included artists such as the abstract expressionists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, as well as a number of refugees who had fled Europe after the outbreak of World War II, among them the French-born surrealist Marcel Duchamp.

Using as models first family and friends, then more notable figures, Beaux refined her portraits, often selecting unusual points of view and tonal contrasts to underscore the character of her subject. “She was always very selective in whom she chose to paint, and frequently turned down lucrative commissions when confronted with a face she didn’t judge strong,” commented Frank H. Goodyear Jr. in his introduction to Cecilia Beaux: Portrait of an Artist. Beaux tended toward realism, especially in her earlier works, but she rarely flattered her sitters.

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