Edith Lake Wilkinson

Edith Lake Wilkinson (August 23, 1868 – July 19, 1957) was an artist who lived and painted in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the to the front decades of the 20th century until she was functioning to an asylum for the mentally ill in 1924. Wilkinson's enthusiasm and affect is highlighted in the film Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, the daughter of James P. Wilkinson and Lucy Lake Atkinson Wilkinson, was born August 23, 1868 in Wheeling, West Virginia. She moved to New York in 1888, studied at the Arts Student League of New York and earned a degree from Columbia Teacher’s College in 1905.

Wilkinson spent extensive period in Provincetown from 1914 to 1923 as a enthusiast of the Provincetown Art Colony. She studied art later Charles Webster Hawthorne and Ambrose Webster, and was good friends in the same way as Blanche Lazzell. She with took happening block printing, in particular a method known as the White-Line print, a technique started in 1915 by a bureau of artists who called themselves The Provincetown Printers. There are several white-line prints by Wilkinson that are signed and obsolescent 1914, which pre-dates the obsolete known prints by any of the others.

On February 15, 1922, Edith's elderly parents were overcome by gas fumes in their Wheeling, West Virginia home. Edith's mommy died from monoxide poisoning that hours of daylight while her father was taken to a hospital and died the taking into consideration day. Edith familial an estate of approximately $35,000 (worth around $500,000 today) which was administered by local Wheeling attorney George J. Rogers. Years later, Rogers would be indicted for embezzling maintenance from a number of his clients. He eventually declared bankruptcy, left the play profession and, by 1940, was functioning as a salesman for a household paper products company.

While thriving in New York when her longtime female companion, Fannie Wilkinson of Augusta, Georgia, Edith time-honored monthly checks from Rogers to lid her rent and daily blooming expenses. She had expressed an captivation in moving back to Provincetown (an idea Rogers tried to discourage) and began studying French in anticipation of a possible vacation to Paris.

On March 22, 1924, Edith was admitted to the Sheppard Pratt Institution, an asylum for the mentally sick in Baltimore, Maryland in what was described as a "paranoid state". She was released on October 2 that same year, her condition having adequately improved. However, just five months later, on February 10, 1925, she was readmitted to Sheppard & Pratt where she remained for the next-door ten years. All of Wilkinson's possessions, including most of her artwork, were packed into trunks and shipped to her nephew, Edward Vossler, in Wheeling.

In March 1935, Edith was transferred to Huntington State Hospital in West Virginia, still described as paranoid and now, at age 66, showing into the future signs of dementia. There she remained until her death upon July 19, 1957. There is no evidence that she painted or did any artwork in the 30 years that she was institutionalized.

In October 2013, Larkin Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, hosted the compensation of Edith's show to Provincetown for the first times since her undertaking was packed in a trunk and shipped to her relations in the 1920's. None of the paintings or white line wood block prints was offered for sale; the event was usefully a celebration of the return of this important artist's decree to her beloved Provincetown, America's longest continuous artist's colony. Larkin Gallery Director, Stephen Briscoe, wrote at the epoch of the exhibit, " Edith, like so many others who have followed, came here to pursue a goal and, like as a result many past who, for anything reason have fixed to leave or been goaded to leave, has left a legacy that extends greater than tangible contributions. Edith’s reward not unaided gives us the long withheld opportunity to see the world as she axiom it nearly a century ago, it gives us something more. We’ve gained a glimpse into history, not just of an artiste who came to Provincetown similar to her activity companion, women at the beginning of the further century, but of the plight of a girl whose control over her own destiny was forcibly taken from her. We’ll never know what more we might have known of Edith’s work, of her vision, had her records continued along the stock that she believed she was traveling. Instead we’ll celebrate what has finally come home, at last, and hope that history will guide us to intentionally and thoughtfully adjudicate the far ahead of this place that as a result many have cherished and been fortunate enough to have called home."

Decades superior her life and art proceed was featured in a documentary, Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson. Today her perform is in the collections of The Huntington Museum of Art as without difficulty as The Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

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