Margaret Jordan Patterson
Born at Sea, Raised in New England
Although raised in Boston, Massachusetts and Maine, Margaret Jordan Patterson was born aboard a ship in Surabaya, East Java in 1867 because her father was a sea captain. This early exposure to the vibrancy of nature, and coastal scenes in particular, appears to have stayed with Patterson on her way to becoming an artist.
Formal Art Training in New York and Europe
After taking a correspondence course with Louis Prang, Patterson studied at the Pratt Institute in New York City as well as with the Spanish painters Claudio Castellucho in Florence and Ermengildo Anglada-Camrasa in Paris. Back in America, the artist Ethel Mars taught Patterson to make color woodblock prints in 1910 and this became Patterson’s preferred medium.
Preferred Subjects and Professional Endeavors
Generally, Patterson’s bright compositions include trees, flowers, and a range of landscapes, frequently with bodies of water. Her woodblocks show a deep understanding of color balance and she uses high relief to produce a dreamlike realism. Patterson was awarded for her work at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. Along with being a prolific artist, Patterson taught for many years at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts and public schools elsewhere in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Arts & Crafts Legacy and Peers
Prior to her death in Boston in 1950, Patterson exhibited widely and several important institutions now hold examples of her art, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Lately, collectors have increasingly come to admire the work of Patterson and other highly skilled Arts and Crafts woodblock artists such as: Bertha Lum, who trained in traditional printmaking in Japan, lived in China, and favored Asian subject matter; William Seltzer Rice, known for his scenes of Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and California missions; and Pedro Joseph de Lemos, who rendered the Monterey Bay Area in striking detail.Contact a Specialist View all Artists/Makers