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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Sargent’s Miss Elsie Palmer Leaves FAC for England

Artist John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of Miss Elsie Palmer” is one of the iconic works in the Fine Arts Center’s permanent collection, and the piece, which depicts the daughter of Gen. William Jackson and Queen Palmer, is well known in Colorado Springs and borrowed by museums across the world.

Miss Elsie is currently being exhibited at the family’s former estate in England, Ightham Mote, where Elsie lived much of her life. The return of the painting to the English manor house, after 125 years, has met with wide acclaim. Press coverage of the painting’s exhibition has emphasized “the spirit of the place” as described in this article in the National Trust’s spring edition.

In addition, a new book, “Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas,” by Donna M. Lucey, enriches our own sense of place, and brings the Palmer family to life. Lucey’s book takes Elsie Palmer out of the frame, and introduces her as a young woman whose privileged life was divided between her father’s Rocky Mountain West castle, Glen Eyrie, and Ightham Mote, home of her arts patron mother.

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