Edwin Romanzo Elmer

Edwin Romanzo Elmer (1850–1923) was an American portrait, genre and still life painter. Known for his attention to detail, he was afterward an inventor of a robot for braiding horsewhips.

Spending most of his enthusiasm in Ashfield, Massachusetts, Elmer is best known for his painting Mourning Picture. This 1890 family portrait depicts the artist, his wife, and their daughter Effie who had died brusquely before it was painted. The painting is noted for its intricate detail and the contrast amongst the mourning family, who sit in relative darkness, and the dead daughter, who is bathed in sunlight. It was first displayed in a local read out office in 1890, then disappeared until the 1950s, when a niece of the artiste showed it to the director of the Smith Museum. It was subsequently that Elmer's faculty was first qualified and his paintings put on display.

The poet Adrienne Rich has written a poem about Mourning Picture from the dead daughter's narrowing of view. The portray now hangs in the Smith College Museum of Art – Northampton, Massachusetts.

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