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The Shambles Paperie

Unique, artistic gift bag and bottle tags, favors and ornaments

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Violet Oakley

Posted on September 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM
Violet Oakley (1874-1961) is the final member of the Red Rose Girls.  Her self portrait is to the left. (c.1900)  Unlike her cohorts, Oakley was born into an artistic family and was always encouraged to pursue a life of art.With two grandfathers that were members of the National Academy of Design, she described her interest in illustration as "hereditary and chronic".  She studied first in New York, then Europe but returned to study illustration with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute for Illustration.  

She was a popular illustrator for magazines and periodicals such as Collier's, St.Nicholas Magazine and Woman's Home Companion.




A depiction of Tynsdale printing his translation of the Bible into English...at great risk no doubt.




On The advice and recommendation of Howard Pyle, Oakley received many mural commissions, the most famous of which is In the Pennsylvania State Capitol building for the Governors Grand Reception Room which she titled "The Founding of the State of Liberty Spiritual".  In the 14 reception room murals Oakley depicts the story of William Penn and the founding of Pennsylvania.


When Edwin Austin Abbey died in 1911, Oakley was offered the job of creating the murals for the Senate and Supreme Court Chambers, a 16 year project













Oakley was raised Episcopalian, embraced the political beliefs of the Quakers and became a Christian Scientist after a significant healing of asthma.  Her insistence on adherence to Victorian aesthetics on the cusp of Modernism led to the decline of her reputation by the middle of the 20th Century.

She lived with Henrietta Cozens, the fourth in the Red Rose group for many years.   

Categories: Illustrators of the Brandywine School

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