Claire Shuttleworth (American, 1867-1930), Western New York artist, portrait miniaturist, teacher, and musician born in Buffalo, NY. She is well known internationally for her miniature works and especially for her works involving Niagara Falls, the Niagara River and the surrounding area. “I come back to our Niagara River with increasing admiration and love for its delicate beauty of coloring and the majesty of its breadth and its rushing waters. It suggests to me a great orchestral, symphonic poem of which my rendering must be by brush and palette…The river thrills and saddens one. Its beauty, its tossing magnificence and glory, its delicate colors and rainbowed mist are passing away, turned to utility for the coming generations. Even now I notice changes which the last few years have wrought, and I hope that perhaps some day my canvases may help to show what those waters were in their days of beauty and might-and that my labor shall not have been entirely in vain”. She executed over 100 paintings of the Falls and the Niagara River at that time and they are considered among the truest records of the great cataract that have ever been made. She considered those paintings her life’s work, in all its moods and seasons-she had truly made the river her own.
She painted, sketched and exhibited throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She was the product of thorough academic training and all her work shows an absolute sincerity of approach and execution. She worked in oils, watercolors and pencil. Her home and studio were at 370 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo and she built and maintained a summer studio in Chippawa, Ontario, Canada, where the Welland and Niagara Rivers met, that she affectionately named “Minglestreams”.
She studied at the Buffalo Art Students’ League, Buffalo, NY, under Canadian painter George Bridgman and also studied in New York City. She then traveled abroad for five years in France and Italy and studied landscape painting under the American Painter Frank Vincent DuMond. She later entered the Academie Vitti in Paris under Luc-Olivier Merson, Raphael Collin and Paul Leroy. Her first Salon picture was entered and accepted before she had studied in any foreign school and she won the medal in the very first “concours” in the Academie Vitti after her entrance there; facts which go to show her own natural talents as well as the high standard of the Buffalo League.
Below is a newspaper clipping from the Buffalo Sunday Morning Express, February 9, 1913 which features some fantastic examples of her portrait miniatures.
Buffalo Sunday Morning News, “Buffalo Artist Famed As Miniature Painter:
Miss Claire Shuttleworth…”, by L.M. Colburn, February 9, 1913
1867- Born, to parents Henry J. Shuttleworth, a Buffalo Banker and Laura Wheeler, Buffalo, NY.
1891- Exhibited at the initial exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.
Circa 1892-1894- Studied at the Buffalo Art Students’ League, under George Bridgman, Buffalo, NY. Furthered studies in New York City, NY.
Circa 1895-1899- Studied in France and Italy under American Landscape Painter Frank Vincent DuMond. Later entered the Academie Vitti in Paris under Luc-Olivier Merson, Raphael Collin and Paul Leroy.
1896-99- Exhibited at the Paris Salon, Paris, France.
1897-1908- Exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
1898- Exhibited at the Societa degli Amatori e Cultore di Belle Arti, Rome, Italy. Two pieces from the Salon of `97 were exhibited at the annual exhibition of the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL.
1899- Exhibited five pieces at the Paris Salon, and one at the Society of American Artists, NYC.
Circa 1900- Returned to the United States from studies abroad, settled in Buffalo, NY, and opened her home & studio at 370 Elmwood Avenue.
1900-04- Exhibited annually at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Exhibited again in 1916 and 1924.
1901- Exhibited at the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, NY.
Circa 1902- Exhibited at the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.
1904- Exhibited one miniature painting at the St. Louis Exposition, St. Louis, MO.
1909- Exhibited, group show, "Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Shuttleworth showed her landscape painting with cows titled "Suppertime" (won Honorable Mention) and two other paintings were shown "The Brook" and "Old Farm Buildings", Buffalo, NY.
1910- Built and maintained her studio “Minglestreams”, Chippawa, Ontario, Canada. Exhibited at the Buffalo Society of Artists (Fellowship prize, and won again in 1929).
1915- Exhibited at the Panama Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, CA.
1920- Exhibited at the Albright Art Gallery, traveling exhibit of a series of her paintings, sketches and studies of the Niagara River, Buffalo, NY.
1930- Died, Buffalo, NY.
1996- Nov. 28-Dec. 18, exhibited, group show, "Bygone Buffalo: Paintings and Drawings by Early and Mid-20th Century Regionalists", Fanette Goldman/Carolyn Greenfield Art Gallery, Daeman College, 4380 Main St., Amherst, NY.
Exhibited also at: The Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA; the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; the Arnot Art Museum & Gallery, Elmira, NY; exhibitions and solo exhibitions at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Arts Club of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; solo exhibitions at the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL; Syracuse Museum, Syracuse, NY; The New York Watercolor Club, NYC; the Society of American Artists, NYC; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; the Society of American Artists, NYC; the American Society of Miniature Painters, NYC; Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters, Philadelphia, PA; one-man exhibition, Babcock’s, NYC; Women’s International Art Club of London, England; St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; New Orleans, LA; the Society of Independent Artists, (1917, 1921, 1924-25); High School Art Association, 1927 (prize), Springville, Utah; Numerous exhibitions in Rome, Italy; Paris, France and London, England.
Memberships: the Buffalo Art Students League, (1892-1900); Buffalo Society of Artists, (1900-30), and was an active worker in its Council and Exhibitions Committee, jury of selections at various times; the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY; Rockport Art Association (1923), Rockport, MA; Buffalo Guild of Allied Arts, (president 1926-27); out-of-town member Extension Committee of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, (1926-27), NY; delegate to New York State Federation of Women’s Clubs; ex-member of the Women’s International Art Club of London, England; Arts Club of Buffalo; American Federation of Arts; artist-member of the Zonta Club and the National Association of Women Artists, NYC.
Honors & Prizes: Medal in the very first “concours” in the Academie Vitti (circa 1895), Paris, France; Honorable Mention for the painting "Suppertime", Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY, 1909; Fellowship prize, 1910, Buffalo Society of Artists, and again in 1929; Awarded Honorable Mention, Buffalo Society of Artists, 1925; High School Art Association, 1927 (prize), Springville, Utah.
Permanent displays: The Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY; The Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo, NY; and the Arnot Art Museum & Gallery, Elmira, NY.
Claire sketched and painted throughout the United States, Canada & Europe in such places as; Western, Central & Upstate New York; the Niagara region, U.S. & Canadian; the French Habitant country near Quebec, Canada; the New England coast; Nantucket, Gloucester and Rockport, MA; Florida; Maine; Texas; Bermuda; Brittany and Pont Aven, France, England and throughout Italy.
For additional information on this artist or for other examples of her works, please visit the AskArt link.
(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)