Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Clip Art by Ellen Clapsaddle

       Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (January 8, 1865 - January 7, 1934) was an American illustrator/commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not only is her style greatly admired and well recognized, today she is recognized as the most prolific souvenir/postcard and greeting card artist of her era.
Boy with Christmas candle by E. H. Clapsaddle.
        Ellen was born during the Civil War period in the small farming community of South Columbia in Herkimer County, New York, near Columbia, New York on January 8, 1865. She was the child of Dennis L. and Harriet (Beckwith) Clapsaddle. From an early age she loved to draw—she is said to have been a shy and delicate child who displayed artistic ability and was highly encouraged by her parents to develop her skills in art. Clapsaddle was the great-granddaughter of the American Revolutionary War hero, Major Dennis Clapsaddle.
       She attended a one-room school until the 8th grade and then graduated from Richfield Springs Seminary, a local academy (later known as high schools) in Richfield Springs that prepared young ladies for higher education, today known as a college in 1882.
       Ellen's parents and teachers highly encouraged her to pursue a career in art so she applied and received a scholarship to attend a selective private college for two years, the Cooper Institute known as the Cooper Union Institute for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. Only highly recognized individuals are chosen to attend this college and all attend on scholarship. Upon the completion of her studies, around 1884, she returned to her parents' home in South Columbia. She placed an ad in a local newspaper to offer private painting lessons and began her career of teaching art out of her home.
       Ellen started by giving art lessons in her home in South Columbia. At the same time she created her own landscapes and was commissioned to paint portraits of families in Richfield Springs. She also submitted her work to publishers in New York City and became a recognized commercial artist. Her illustrations were often used in advertising and on porcelain goods, calendars, paper fans, trade and greeting cards. Her greatest success was in the development of her artwork into single-faced cards that could be kept as souvenirs or mailed as postcards and she specialized in designing illustrations specifically for that purpose. She has been credited with over 3000 designs in the souvenir/post card field.

       The following Christmas designs by Clapsaddle have been restored and colorized by Kathy Grimm for the personal use of our visitors only. Read the Terms of Use here.

Clapsaddle's boy with violin.
Children under an umbrella by Clapsaddle.

Have a question about the illustration? Just type it in the comment box and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I only publish content that is closely related to the subject, folks.

Christmas Clipart or Clip Art Pages On This Blog: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

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