Merritt, Anna Lea, 1844-1930

Alternative names
Birth 1844-09-13
Death 1930-04-07

Biographical notes:

Painter Anna Lea Merritt was born in Philadelphia, and showed early artistic ability. In London during a tour of Europe she met and became influenced by her future husband, Henry Merritt. A pre-Raphaelite known for portraits, she based herself in London thereafter, exhibiting paintings at the Royal Academy and Royal Society.

From the description of Anna Lea Merritt letters to the Sawards, 1919-1928. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 54429015

A versatile artist and writer, Anna Massey Lea Merritt (1844-1930) was born in Philadelphia to an affluent Quaker family. As a young girl, Lea attended politically progressive schools and studied classics, languages, mathematics, and music with private tutors. Initially, she taught herself to paint, but later she studied anatomy at the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia and, after moving to Europe with her family in 1865, she took art lessons with various masters in Italy, Germany, and France. A prolific author, Mitchell also wrote and illustrated two books about Hurstbourne Tarrant, the English village to which she moved in 1891 and where she spent the remaining four decades of her life. In addition, she published articles about mural painting, gardening, and the obstacles facing women artists. Merritt executed several major mural commissions, as well as portraits and easel paintings on literary and religious subjects. A member of London's Royal Society of Painters and Etchers, Merritt exhibited her work regularly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Royal Academy in London, and the Paris Salon. Her paintings and prints were also displayed at a number of prestigious venues, including the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

From the description of Anna Lea Merritt papers. 1863-1922. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84669501

Painter and etcher, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Born in Andover, Hampshire, England. Studied in London with Henry Merritt. Author of a memoir on Henry Merritt, an art critic and painting restorer. Relinquished career during marriage to Merritt. Won 1889 Paris Exposition prize.

From the description of Anna Lea Merritt papers, [ca. 1975]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122576774


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  • Painters--19th century
  • Painters
  • Women artists--Sources
  • Women artists--Correspondence
  • Women painters
  • Art, American--20th century--Sources
  • Art, American--19th century--Sources
  • Painters--England--19th century--Biography
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  • Painters--19th century--Biography


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  • Pennsylvania--Philadelphia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
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  • United States (as recorded)