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The Brigham Galleries

Marguerite Stuber Pearson

1898 - 1978

Marguerite Stuber Pearson was a firm proponent of the Boston School tradition, characterized by the mastery of academic technique and the selection of traditional subjects of portraiture, figures in interiors and still lifes.  In her debut exhibition at the Guild of Boston Artists in 1931, one reviewer happily reported that her paintings were “executed in the best Boston School tradition.”  Upon seeing the show, Edmund Tarbell (1862-1938) wrote to Pearson, “We are glad that you stick to the Boston tradition, and we look to you to uphold it, which you have more than done and are still doing.”

Pearson grew up wanting to become a concert pianist, but in 1915 she contracted polio during a summer vacation in Maine.  During her recovery she took drawing lessons from Boston illustrators Charles Chase Emerson (1871 - 1921) and Harold N. Anderson (1894 - 1973).  In 1919 Pearson embarked on the rigorous seven year painting course at the Museum School, where she received criticisms from Frederick Bosley (1881 - 1942), Philip Hale (1865 - 1931) and Tarbell.  She worked and taught in a fourth-floor studio in the Fenway Studio building and began to spend her summers in Rockport. There she painted with Aldro Hibbard (1886 - 1972) and expanded her repertoire to include landscapes of Cape Ann.  In 1942 she moved to Rockport to live year-round and became an active member of the Rockport Art Association.  Today she is well known for her pictures of women playing musical instruments in elegant, light-filled interiors.

“The Art Week,” Boston Globe, 1931 and Tarbell to Pearson, 1931, both quoted in “Marguerite S. Pearson 1899-1978,” (unpublished ms. Vose Galleries). For more biographical information see Judith A. Curtis, “Exponents of the Boston School,” in American Art Review 12, no.2 (2000):186-193; and Marguerite Stuber Pearson Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. CLV