Cecilia Beaux

1855 - 1942

Cecilia Beaux is one of most accomplished and widely regarded artists to work on Cape Ann at the turn of the 19th century. A native of Philadelphia, she trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Academie Julian in Paris; from 1895 to 1915 she taught at the Pennsylvania Academy, the first women to do so.

Beaux first came to Cape Ann with her family in the mid-1880s, staying at the Fairview Inn in East Gloucester. As her success as a painter grew, her privacy diminished. During the summer of 1903, on the advice of a friend, she left the Inn and rented a cottage on Eastern Point; by 1906, construction was complete on Beaux's new home and studio on the outskirts of the Point. This portrait of young Henry Parsons King, Jr., affectionately known as "Jimmie," was painted by Cecilia Beaux in 1905, the year before she moved into Green Alley, her Eastern Point compound.

Cecilia Beaux was a writer as well as an artist. In 1930, she published Background with Figures, an autobiography tracing her family history and the "characters" she had met through her career as an artist. In the book, Beaux wrote that "the seeds of what grew for [her] in Gloucester were sown by members of [her] family, who, now that [they] were gone, continued to be the centre to which [she] was attached, no matter what [her] wanderings."

Selected works by Cecilia Beaux

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