Laura Woodward

Laura Woodward (1834–1926) was an American painter. She was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2013.

Laura Woodward was born upon March 18, 1834, in Mount Hope in Orange County, New York. She was the oldest out of three children. Her siblings' names were Thomas and Elizabeth. She lived in New York City and painted in the Catskills, the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, Maine coast, Massachusetts coast, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. She captured many landscapes in oil on canvas and watercolor and was a aficionado of the Hudson River School and White Mountain School. She exhibited her play a part at the American Art Gallery, National Academy of Design, Boston Art Club, Brooklyn Art Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, Chicago and Cincinnati's industrial expositions and Louisville's recurring Southern Exposition. There was many occasions where she signed her state L. Woodward to avoid creature rejected by juried shows or discriminated adjacent to by extra committees, judges, or critics. During her to the fore career as an artist, she became colleagues and links with many Hudson River School artists, including James D. Smillie and Julie Hart Beers.

Woodward began to spend the winters in St. Augustine, Florida in the 1880s and by the fall of 1889 she had united Martin Johnson Heade and the further artists at Henry M. Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel. By 1890, her younger sister, Libby, would sometimes travel to Florida once due to her increasingly ill health in the hope that it would extend her life.

Woodward was disappointed in the Ancient City because it was not as tropical as she had hoped, so she traveled throughout Florida searching for exotic nature and flowers. She was told of how beautiful Palm Beach was and made the arduous vacation south to discover the real tropical foliage she was sore for. By 1889 Woodward was spending times in Palm Beach and Jupiter, painting outside amid what was next largely jungle and swampland inhabited by panthers, bears, and numerous alligators. She brought her watercolor sketches of that area back to St. Augustine where she associated her friend Martin Johnson Heade and the new artists at Henry M. Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel. There she became well-known for her renderings of the "curious" Royal Poinciana tree and its blossoms. The media Definite she should be "adopted by every single one state" of Florida due to the showing off she publicized its natural beauties.

Flagler owned at least two of Woodward's paintings at his St. Augustine home, Kirkside.--a Palm Beach royal poinciana tree and a seascape. Woodward with exhibited her feign at Flagler's Florida Times-Union headquarters in St. Augustine. According to documented family history that is corroborated in the award-winning Laura Woodward: The Artist Behind the Innovator Who Developed Palm Beach, she (and her friend Frances Cragin) told Henry Flagler that Palm Beach should be developed as a resort, using her paintings as full-color evidence of her visionary ideas. Flagler listened to Laura and her friend, was compelled by her art, and bought property in the similar locations depicted in Woodward's paintings. When Flagler was constructing his Palm Beach Hotel Royal Poinciana in 1893, he received a house and studio for Woodward there--a permanent atelier was included taking into account the hotel was completed in 1894. His newspapers also acknowledged Woodward as being answerable for publicizing the allure of the east coast of Florida to the complete nation. Although she often visited New York and various parts of Florida, Woodward made Palm Beach her house from 1893 to 1926.

One of the Florida areas visited by Woodward was Miami and the regions almost it. She painted Seminoles in their dugout canoes and afterward sketched in the Everglades--despite the risky conditions there. In 1895, Laura, her sister Libbie, and Mrs. Julia Tuttle had an thrill-seeking adventure on the Miami River. Woodward's works of Miami and its environs, as skillfully as many new Florida locales, were capably received by the Florida and New York media and collected by prominent art patrons.

Laura Woodward became nationally without difficulty known for her delicate renderings in oil and watercolor of unspoiled natural world throughout Florida. In 1920, when the Palm Beach Art League was established, Woodward was customary as their swashbuckler and became an honorary member. Tragically, due to failing eyesight, Laura was unable to continue painting by then but remained highly regarded as the famous Florida artiste and the pioneer artiste of Palm Beach. She continued animate in Palm Beach until 1926 when, at the age of 92, it was essential for her to imitate to St. Cloud where her caregivers lived. She died rapidly thereafter on May 9, 1926. In 1940 the Palm Beach Art League held Woodward's memorial exhibition and helped found the Norton Gallery and School of Art, dedicated in 1941 (Norton Museum of Art).

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