UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Elizabeth Otis Lyman Duveneck, 1846-1888

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1846
Place of Birth: Boston
Date of Death: 1888
Place of Death:

Identity:

Elizabeth ('Lizzie') Otis Lyman Boott was an artist, who married the painter, sculptor, etcher and art teacher, Frank Duveneck in Paris in 1886. She was the only child of Francis Boott, a minor composer. They had a son, Francis Boott Duveneck (b. 18 December 1886).

Life:

Lizzie Boott was brought up in Italy by her widowed father after the death of her mother and brother. Like her father, she was musical, and played the piano and sang well. She could speak Italian, French and German.

Lizzie studied under the history painter Giorgio Mignaty, with the William Morris Hunt class for women in Boston, with Thomas Couture outside Paris and then in Florence under Duveneck, who had been brought to her attention by Henry James, a close friend. In Paris with Annie Dixwell she also painted from the nude model in the women's classes at the Academy Julian.

In Florence, Lizzie was part of a group of painters called the Charcoal Club that included Duveneck, John White Alexander, Louis Ritter, Gertrude Blood and others. She executed portraits, landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes and was an active exhibitor. In 1881 she held an exhibition with Annie Dixwell at J. Eastman Chase's Gallery, showing paintings thirty-one oils and thirteen watercolours of Spain and Italy. In 1883 she exhibited at the American Water Color Society, Boston Art Club, National Academy of Design, Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Philadelphia Society of Artists. In 1884 she held a one-person show at Boston's Doll and Richards Gallery. At the Salon of 1886, Boott exhibited two paintings, a still life and a portrait of her father.

Her romance with Duveneck was problematic as they were from different social circles and her father worried that he was after her money. She died after only two years of marriage from pneumonia. Her son was brought up in Waltham, Massachusetts by the family of her mother's half-brother. Duveneck made a bronze sculptural monument for her grave in the Cemetery of the Laurels in Florence.

Bibliography:

Osborne, Carol M., 'Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: An American Romance', Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, New York, 1995-96, Resource Library Magazine online.