Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer

American , 1873 - 1943

Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1873. She attended the Philadelphia School of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she studied with Cecelia Beaux and William Merritt Chase. Deemed the best student in her class, Hergesheimer won a three year Cresson Traveling Scholarship to study abroad. In France, she studied at the Academie Colorossi and exhibited in the Paris Salon.

In 1907, Hergesheimer went to Nashville, Tennessee to paint a portrait of Bishop Holland N. McTyeire for Vanderbilt University. She remained in Nashville for the next 36 years, becoming well known in Bowling Green where she taught art classes. Her circle of friends included artists, Wickliffe Covington, Frances Fowler and Sarah Peyton. Hergesheimer was a printmaker as well as a painter, best known for her renderings of Tennessee notables, especially society women and their offspring. She died in Nashville in 1943.
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