Elizabeth Searcy

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Oil Sketch of N. Y. Skyline from Central Park ("Blue Silhouettes")
by Elizabeth Searcy
oil on Masonite panel 8.7 by 13.74 inches

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Signed pencil lower left: Elizabeth Searcy

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Artist Information
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Elizabeth Searcy in 
Central Park, 1915

Photo from the  the Memphis Shelby County Room, Memphis Public Library and information Center.

name: Elizabeth Searcy
dates: (1877 - 1965)

education:  Miss Higbee's School, Memphis. Art Student League, New York City.

known for: Etching, oil painting, several commissions for First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during Roosevelt administration.

Further Biographical Information

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(reverse label - Oil Sketch of N. Y. Skyline from Central Park by Elizabeth Searcy 1934 Vinton Ave. Memphis Tenn. -click on image to enlarge)


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(reverse label- Sketch  of  Central Park "Blue Silhouettes" 
click on image to enlarge)


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   A view of Central Park from Google Earth with modern buildings hidden. This image shows the likely position at which Searcy set her easel on the Central Park Mall. 

   The painting depicts Central Park South with prominent buildings being the Sherry-Netherland Hotel (left), the Plaza Hotel (middle left), the Empire State Building (middle background right), and the twin spires of Hampshire House (right).  The Plaza Hotel was placed at the center of Searcy's composition, the pin of its lines of perspective. 

   The Hampshire House in the background lead us to date the work  post 1931, the beginning of the building's construction. The absent (or partially completed?) RCA building at Rock Center which should be immediately in front of the Empire State Building (middle right) may give a pre 1939 date for the painting. Further archival work or the identification  of a companion etching may lead to more accurate dating.

My Day Home Column
JANUARY 10, 1940
written by Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


   WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday afternoon I spent a delightful hour with MissElizabeth Searcy in her studio on Dupont Circle. She has painted a great deal in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City and the South. It is evident in looking at her work that she has a great feeling for her home city, Memphis, Tennessee. There are five interiors of rooms which she painted at the Roosevelt House in New York City some years ago, and which seemed to me to belong together in some museum. They are beautifully executed and correct in detail and should, of course, be kept together, preferably where people who are not apt to visit and yet want to know the looks of the house where Theodore Roosevelt was born and spent the early years of his life.

   Some of Miss Searcy's etchings are exquisite, but her water colors of gardens were to me the loveliest of all. I hope that she will have an opportunity while here to paint some of the beautiful gardens in and around this city.

from: 1940 "My Day" Newspaper Columns by Eleanor Roosevelt, The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, The George Washington University