Celia Thaxter – Island Gardener

In the Garden, 1892, Child Hassam

In the Garden (Celia Thaxter in Her Garden), Childe Hassam, 1892, oil on canvas, 22 1/4 x 18 inches, courtesy The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, http://americanart.si.edu/ Chromolithograph used as frontispiece to An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter, 1894

I have always been interested in strong, female artists.  I admire their tenacity to create, regardless of obstacles they may face.  Every time I purchase a new car I name it after one, which helps me feel safer on the highway.  My current car, purchased a year ago, a white SUV with a panoramic sunroof, is named after Celia Laighton Thaxter, a poet, prose writer, painter, and island gardener.   I chose Celia because Thaxter regularly wore white dresses, had a fervent love of nature, and was an avid gardener, as I am.  My alma mater, Cornell University, works in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire to manage the Isle of Shoals Marine Laboratory. They worked with a group of volunteers on the restoration of Thaxter’s garden, which had been destroyed by fire in 1914.  How could she not be the artist I would choose to protect me as I commute every day? Read more