Open main menu

ELLA SEAVER OWEN A woman of the century (page 822 crop).jpgELLA SEAVER OWEN.
(Page 151.)

OWEN, Mrs. Ella Seaver, artist and decorator, born in Williamstown, Vt, 26th February, 1852. Her father, Asahel Bingham Seaver, born and brought up in Williamstown, was a descendant of Robert Seaver, an Englishman, who came to America in the seventeenth century. Her mother, whose maiden name was Aurelia Adams, was also of English descent. Mrs. Owen is one of two children. Her brother, Harlan Page Seaver, lives in Springfield, Mass. When she was an infant, her father moved to Burlington, Vt., where he was a successful teacher in the public schools for many years. From early childhood she was fond of pencil and color-box. and, as she grew older, she had the best instruction in drawing and painting the town afforded. Fond of study, she was ambitious to receive a college education and prepared in the high school, studying Greek. When, in 1872, the University of Vermont, in Burlington, opened its doors to women, she was ready to enter, and was graduated in 1876, taking the degree of A. B. After teaching a few terms in the Clark Institution for the Deaf, in Northampton, Mass., she decided to go to the Cooper Union Art School, in New York. Before that move she had decorated small articles, which had begun to find sale at home. It was in the beginning of the decorative craze, when the term "hand-painted" was expected to sell anything to which it could be applied. She looked about and found such inartistic things on sale in the stores in New York that she offered some of her work, and was gratified to have it readily taken and more ordered. She found herself able, besides spending four hours a day in the art-school, to earn enough by decorative work to pay her expenses and graduate from the normal designing-class in May, 1880. A part of the time she was a member of the sketch-class in the Art Student's League and took lessons in china-painting in the school now called the Osgood Art School. In August, 1880, she became the wife of Frank Allen Owen, a chemist, born and reared in Burlington, Vt. She continued her art and sent work to the women's exchanges, and with those societies had much profitable experience. She taught painting in her own and neighboring towns, having had, in all, several hundreds of pupils. In 1881 she became interested in china-firing. From the time she left the art-school she worked constantly in oils and water-colors. In 1886, having acquired a large number of studies and receiving many calls to rent them, she decided to classify them and to send out price-lists, offering to rent studies and send them by mail anywhere in the United States and Canada. That venture proved successful. She has had calls from every State in the Union. She now makes her home in Burlington. Her mother lives with her. She has a family of three children