Woman of the Century/Rhoda Holmes Nicholls
NICHOLLS, Mrs Rhoda Holmes, artist, was born in Coventry, England. Her maiden name was Rhoda Carlton Marian Holmes. The first ten years of her life were passed in Littlehampton, Sussex, where her father was vicar of the parish. The family then moved to Hertfordshire, where her youth was passed in quiet. RHODA HOLMES NICHOLLS. She showed no talent for art in childhood, and entered the Bloomsbury School of Art in London merely to acquire the usual accomplishments. She there tried for the Queen's scholarship prize of £40 a year for three successive years, and to her surprise she won it and received the unusual compliment of a gift of £10 from the Queen, to whom her drawings had been sent for examination. Then Miss Holmes began to study for a career. At the end of a year she went to Rome, Italy, where she studied the human figure with Cammerano and landscape with Vertuni, and attended the evening classes of the Circolo Artistico. In the winter of 1881 she enjoyed special privileges. In Rome she exhibited her works and received personal compliments from Queen Margherita. From Rome she went to South Africa, near Port Elizabeth, where she and her mother remained a year among the Kaffirs and ostriches of the Karoo desert. She made many studies of Kaffirs, of desert scenes, and of tame and wild animals. In Venice she became acquainted with Burr H. Nicholls, who is an American, and they were married the next year in England. They came to the United States in the spring of 1884 and settled in New York City. Mrs. Nicholls at once began to exhibit her work in the exhibitions of the Society of American Artists, and she has been a successful contributor ever since. In 1885 she won a silver medal in Boston, Mass., and in 1886 she won a gold medal from the American Art Association for her picture in oil, "Those Evening Bells." Every year she has added new laurels to her wreath. As a water-color artist she excels. She has been elected vice-president of the New York Water-Color Club. Her range of subjects is very wide, and in every line she succeeds. Besides her water-color work, she has done much work in oils.