Elizabeth Okie Paxton (1877-1971)

Elizabeth Okie Paxton (1877-1971)

Elizabeth Vaughan Okie was born in Providence, Rhode Island and studied art at the Cowles Art School under Ernest Lee Major and Joseph Rodefer DeCamp in the early 1890s. During this time, she met fellow artist William McGregor Paxton, also a student of DeCamp, and they later married in 1899. Elizabeth Paxton continued her studies under her husband’s tutelage and became known for her exquisite still life paintings – timeless compositions of everyday domestic objects rendered with a sensitivity to light, color and form. 

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Paxton kept a studio at their home in Newton and spent most of her summers painting on Cape Ann and Cape Cod.  She was member of and exhibited with the Guild of Boston Artists and the North Shore Arts Association, which presented her with the Alice Worthington Ball Prize in 1927, and also showed at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Concord Art Association. Additionally, her work was awarded medals at the International Exposition in Buenos Aires in 1910 and at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. Due to their popularity among art enthusiasts, many of Paxton’s paintings were acquired privately during her lifetime and remain in those collections, but a few examples can be found in museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. 

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999; Hirshler, Erica E., A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940 (Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts, 2001); Fairbrother, Trevor J., The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1870-1930 (Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts, 1986). 

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