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American Newcomb Founder and Painter
(Seekonk, MA, 1861 - 1939, New Orleans, LA)
As a teacher, artist, and promoter, Ellsworth Woodward was a pillar of the New Orleans art scene between 1890 and 1940. He painted in an impressionist style all his life but, though his work was popular, his primary influence was as teacher and institution builder. He is particularly known as one of the founders of Newcomb Pottery at Sophie Newcomb College (now part of Tulane University) in New Orleans. A proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Woodward advocated local crafts as an alternative to standardized, machine-made wares ...Educated at the Rhode Island School of Design, Ellsworth also studied abroad briefly in Munich, under Carl Marr and Richard Fehr ... During his long career, Woodward promoted his aesthetic idealism through substantial organizational service. In 1900, he established the New Orleans Art Association. Twelve years later, he chaired the art committee at the newly established Isaac Delgado Museum of Art (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) and became its president in 1924. In 1920, he cofounded the Southern States Art League, over which he presided from 1926 to 1933. But the pottery he established on the Newcomb campus in 1895 remains both his longest and best-known attempt to institutionalize his vision of art and society.
---Excerpted from "Ellsworth Woodward "by Richard Megraw, appearing in knowlouisiana.org Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010–. Article published January 21, 2011. http://www.knowlouisiana.org/entry/ellsworth-woodward.