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Anna Lea Merritt (1844 - 1930)

Anna Lea Merritt was a painter and writer born in Philadelphia in 1844.  Her ealy life was spent in America where she began painting.  During one of her trips to England, she met Henry Merritt (an artist, restorer and bookseller).  Her studies with him led to a love affair and soon the two were married.

Anna was known for her genre and portrait and still life painting; works that were often very powerful images and composed with a clever use of contrasting colors.  She exhibited extensively throughout her lifetime both in Europe and America, winning many awards – including two medals at the Columbian Exposition (1893), on at the Atlanta Exposition (1895), and one at the Pan-Am Exposition, Buffalo (1901).

As a writer, her works include Memoirs of Henry Merritt, A Hamlet in Old Hampshire, and An Artist’s Garden.

Today examples of her work can be found in the collections of the national Gallery of British Art, London; The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Harvard University Museum, Massachusetts; and St. Martin’s Church, Guilford, England.

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