Gabrielle DeVaux Clements (Pennsylvania - South Carolina 1858-1948)

Born into a prominent Charleston, SC family descended from Revolutionary War hero Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, Gabrielle DeVaux Clements held a long professional career as muralist, oil painter, educator, and master etcher. Having studied under such artists as Thomas Eakins in Philadelphia and William Bouguereau in Paris, she also educated aspiring artists such as Margaret Leslie Bush-Brown during her long tenure at Bryn Mawr School. Clements produced iconic scenes of Europe and the Middle East during her extensive travels with lifelong companion and fellow painter Ellen Day Hale, however; due to the outbreak of World War I they returned to the United States and began spending winters in Charleston, South Carolina. This would begin their long affiliation with Charleston where they would inspire a new generation of Southern women artists. Always the consummate mentor, in 1917 she told future leading Charleston Renaissance painter Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, “I want to leave Charleston some of my skills. Get together a group so you can buy a printing press and I will show you how to use it. I will teach you so you can teach them.” The subsequent founding of the Charleston Etchers Club and it’ numerous sponsored exhibitions led to widespread national circulation of views of Charleston through prints in newspapers, magazines, and books. Although she exhibited extensively in major expositions and was clearly a professional artist highly regarded by her peers, Clements, like most of her female colleagues, received only occasional attention from critics. She was well known to be an active, energetic, and forceful figure in the arts evidenced in an 1889 letter in which her friend and fellow artist, Cecilia Beaux describes Clements’ strong character by writing that “neither a bout with poor health nor disappointments would ever cause Clements the supreme wretchedness of thinking herself a failure.” 

Studied
Philadelphia School of Design for Women With Charles Page
Cornell University
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins
Etching with Stephen Parrish in Philadelphia 
Academie Julian with William Bouguereau and Tony Fluery

Member
Fellow, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art 
Chicago Society of Etchers
North Shore Art Association
Charleston Etchers Club
Society of Washington Artists
Rockport Art Association
Folly Cove Etchers

Work
St. Patrick’s Church , Washington D.C.
St. Paul’s Chapel, Baltimore, MD
St. Mathew’s Church, Sparrow Point, MD
Trinity Church, Townson, MD
St. Joseph’s Church, Detroit, MI                                                            
Speed Memorial Museum, Louisville, KY
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 
National Museum of American Art
National Museum of American History
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
New York Public Library
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Greenville County Museum of Art

Exhibited
Boston Art Club 1884, 1886, 1894, 1895
National Academy of Design 1884-1895
Paris Salon, 1885
Ohio Valley Centennial, 1888
Union League Club, NYC, 1888
“Woman Etchers of America” NYC, 1888
Worlds Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893
Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904
Corcoran  Biennials, 1921-1926
Sesquicentennial International Expo, Philadelphia 1926
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1927
J.B. Speed Museum, 1935 
Art Institute of Chicago 
Goodspeed’s in Boston
Smithsonian Institution
Library of Congress
Society of Independent Artists
Rockport Art Association
Folly Cove Etchers
North Shore Art Association 
(and in many more expositions and institutions)

References
Falk, (ed.), Who Was Who in American Art
Severens, The Charleston Renaissance
Heller, North American Women Artists of the 20th Century
Opitz, Mantle Fielding's Dictionary
Marlor, The Society of Independent Artists
Lang, Etched, in Memory
Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth Century Paris Salons
Carr, Revisiting the White City