About the Artist:
Born in Sparta, WI, Genevra Ingersoll (her name a source of many spelling variants) came from a family of freethinkers, including her uncle Robert G. Ingersoll—known as “The Great Agnostic” and one of America’s most popular orators of the day who counted as a friend the poet Walt Whitman. Ingersoll was educated by tutors and showed a talent for painting; however, her first career was on the stage, beginning in the Midwest, then on Broadway in shows like Arizona (1900) and Unleavened Bread (1901). She married the actor George F. Nash in 1888 and began dividing her time between America and England in 1902, about the time her interests drifted away from the commercial theater. Nash collaborated with the novelist and early filmmaker Sir Gilbert Parker; performed readings in London from the poetry of Oliver Herford, “the American Oscar Wilde”; and wrote an introduction to fairy tales for the Consolidated Encylopedic Library. Her drawing-room readings made use of magic lantern slides she had painted herself. At this point, according to a later profile, Nash was encouraged to develop her talent for painting; she studied in Paris with Max Bohm and Lucien Simon and then had a studio in Rome for eight years (Rohe). During the Great War she remained in Europe, painting among other works the striking “View of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London” under attack from a 1915 Zeppelin bombing. 2 more images at FAP.
Sources Consulted: “Women’s Clubs,” Brooklyn Life 8 Jul. 1905: 16; Alice Rohe, “Genevra Ingersoll,” Latrobe Bulletin 20 Mar. 1935: 3. Orison Swett Marden, ed., The Consolidated Encyclopedic Library, Vol. 5 (Emerson Press, 1903): 1213-1215.
Cooper, Ken (biography)
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