- Women's History Month Home
- Exhibits & Collections
- For Teachers
- Images Used On
Brought to you by...
Elizabeth Shippen Green
(1871 – 1954)
Elizabeth Shippen Green was born in Philadelphia in 1871. Her father, Jasper Green, had been an artist/illustrator and encouraged her choice of careers. Green was also inspired by Howard Pyle’s drawings in St. Nicholas magazine to go into illustration as a career. At 17, she began submitting illustrations to local newspapers and magazines. At 18, she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she first studied under Thomas Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, and Robert Vonnoh. After graduation, she traveled in Europe and upon her return, illustrated articles for The Philadelphia Times and The Public Ledger. She received only 50 cents for the Times illustration, but it was her first official commission and she relished that aspect more than money. Then later in 1897, she took up illustration study formally with the venerable Pyle at Drexel Institute.
Green undertook advertising commissions for department stores and later for various articles, serial stories and magazine illustrations, particularly children’s pages for periodicals such as The Saturday Evening Post, St. Nicholas, The Ladies’ Home Journal and Women’s Home Companion. In 1901, she signed an exclusive contract with Harper’s magazine and her work there lasted for 23 years. She was the first woman staff member at Harper’s Weekly. Green also illustrated a number of children’s books including “The Five Little Pigs,” “The Book of the Child,” “Book of the Little Past,” “Tales of Shakespeare,” “Daughter of the Rich,” “Torch” and “Mother Carey’s.”
During her studies with Pyle, Green met Violet Oakley and Jessie Willcox Smith. The three women illustrators formed a life-long bond and shared studios and homes, including their most famous abode, the Red Rose Inn, in Villanova, Pa.
Green married in 1911 and moved around quite a bit, although ultimately settled back in Philadelphia. All this while, she continued to illustrate whatever contracts came her way. In 1951, just after her husband’s death, she returned to her illustrator friends in Villanova, and died just a few years later.
Related Library Resources:
- A Petal From the Rose: Illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green
- The Water Babies: Illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith
- Article on Elizabeth Shippen Green from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin
- Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon
- Cabinet of American Illustration