Woman of the Century/Alice Cordelia Morse
MORSE, Miss Alice Cordelia, artist, born in Hammondsville, Jefferson county, Ohio, 1st June, ALICE CORDELIA MORSE. 1862. She removed with her parents to Brooklyn, N. Y., two years later, w here she has since resided. She traces her origin back on her father's side to the time of Edward III, of England. She is descended from Samuel Morse, one of seven brothers who came to America between 1635 and 1644, and settled in Dedham, Mass. Her ancestors on her mother's side, Perkins by name, were among the early settlers of Connecticut. Seven of her great-grandfather's brothers lost their lives in the assault on Fort Griswold by Benedict Arnold. Her great-grandfather, Caleb Perkins, afterwards removed to Susquehanna county, Pa., which was then a wilderness. Being a sturdy, fearless child, of great perseverance and determination, she was sent to school at the age of five years. After a common-school education she took' her first lesson in drawing in an evening class started by the Christian Endeavor Society of Dr. Eggleston's Church. Her drawing at that time has been described by a friend as conspicuously bad. Evidently no Hash of inspiration revealed her genius in her first attempt to immortalize a model. That little class of crude young people builded better than it knew, for a number of its members are to-day doing creditable work among the competitors in New York art circles. Miss Morse submitted a drawing from that class to the Woman's Art School, Cooper Union, and was admitted to a four years' course, which she completed. Entering the studio of John LaFarge, the foremost artist of stained-glass designing in this country, she studied and painted with great assiduity under his supervision. Later, she sent a study of a head, painted on glass, to Louis C Tiffany & Company, and went into the Tiffany studio to paint glass and study designing, and accomplished much in the time devoted to her work there. Having been the successful contestant in several designs for book covers, and the awakened aesthetic sense of the public requiring beauty, taste and some fitness to the subject in the covering of a book, she then decided to take up that field of designing. She made many covers of holiday editions and fine books for the Harper, Scribner, Putnam, Cassell, Dodd, Mead & Company and other publishing firms. That, with glass designing, a window in the Beecher Memorial Church of Brooklyn testifying to her skill, has made her name familiar to the designing fraternity, and the annual exhibits of her work in the New York Architectural League have called forth high praise from the press. She won the silver medal in the life class m Cooper Institute in 1891, and is now studying with a view to combine illustration with designing. She is a very clear, original thinker. with an earnestness relieved by a piquant sens° of humor, a fine critical estimate of literary style and a directness of purpose and energy which promise well for her future career.