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Fern I. Coppedge

Painter
Born July 28, 1883, Decatur, Illinois
Died April 21, 1951, New Hope, PA

"Man and his activities seem pleasantly remote but not absent in her landscapes. She fills them with houses and churches, lanes, bridges, and canals. They have therefore, that suggestion of human life, colored with brightness, exuberant, which best answers the needs of most of us."
Arthur Edwin Bye


Born Fern Isabel Kuns in Illinois, Coppedge dreamed of being an artist since the age of thirteen, after being inspired by the dazzle of sunlight reflected on snow and sea, and by the marvelous creative possibilities she discovered while visiting her older sister's watercolor class. Her husband, Robert W. Coppedge, himself an amateur painter, encouraged her to pursue this ambition. A landscape artist, Fern Coppedge painted the villages and farms of Bucks County, often blanketed with snow, as well as harbor scenes from Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she spent her summers. Coppedge worked directly from nature; like her colleague, Edward Redfield, she tied her canvas to a tree, during winter storms. Coppedge's early work, influenced by American impressionism, was marked by shimmering colors and attention to the effects of changing light upon a landscape. Later in her career, Coppedge moved towards post-impressionism, favoring a more fanciful use of color and two-dimensional, abstract style.

Image: Undated photograph of Fern Coppedge, courtesy James A. Michener Art Museum archives


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