Monson, Edith Dale

Monson, Edith Dale (1875-1977)

Edith Dale Monson was born on August 26, 1875, in New Haven, Connecticut. She was descended from Dr. Aeneas Monson, a Revolutionary surgeon who removed musket balls from wounded soldiers on the patriot side and participated in the Battle of Yorktown. She attended public schools in New Haven and two years at Miss Johnstone’s Private School. She taught in public schools and then attended and graduated from Smith College in the Class of 1900. After her father died in 1917, Monson and her mother moved to Hartford. Her mother needed constant care, and Monson lived with her in a Hartford apartment. She studied in Paris and in New York City at the Art Students League with Robert Henri, the founder of the Ashcan School of Art that stressed realism. She was one of the most important female artists in the history of the Hartford Art Colony. Monson was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club which she co-founded, the Society of Independent Artists, and the Hartford Society of Women Painters and Sculptors. She also served as an officer in most of these organizations. Monson was a reformer for women’s causes, marching with the suffragettes and actively participating in the Connecticut League of Women Voters and in the Connecticut Consumers’ League against sweatshops. She often signed her paintings as “Dale Monson,” because she believed that men had less difficulty in selling their art. In 1932 she opened a studio on Main Street in Hartford and for many years gave lessons in painting and drawing. She exhibited widely and won awards. She was devoted to teaching, and several students went on to exhibit their works. Monson joined the Federal Arts Project and completed sixty easel paintings from 1938-1940. Most of her paintings were allocated throughout the state, and her WPA Federal Arts Project art was exhibited. She continued to teach and paint after World War II. Monson lived to be 102 and died on October 2, 1977. Her nephew, Shepherd Holcomb, gathered the contents of her studio after she died and placed them in his home. Recently the University of Hartford held an exhibition of her works from this collection entitled, Edith Dale Monson: Hartford’s American Realist.  Go


Sources:  WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPA Biography; AskART; Letter and enclosures from Shepherd Holcomb, 12/07/2005; “Edith Dale Monson,” Special Collections University of Hartford Libraries, Archives and Special Collections; Obituary for Stella Shepherd Monson, Hartford Courant, August 10, 1929; “Feminine Topics,” Hartford Courant, April 4, 1932; “Women Voters Study Proposed Legislation,” Hartford Courant, December 3, 1931; “Sweat Shops Protest Aim of Gathering,” Hartford Courant, December 2, 1932; “Hartford Society Women Painters Will Open Exhibit,” Hartford Courant, January 23, 1944; “Federal College Has 50 Summer Students,” Hartford Courant, July 10, 1937; “Mrs. Lewis Rose Opens Lecture Series Monday,” Hartford Courant, October 6, 1946; “Yachting Exhibition Will Open Wednesday With Reception at Avery,”Hartford Courant, April 9, 1950; “Paintings Attract Much Attention At Public Library, Hartford Courant, December 3, 1950; “Paintings on Display At Branch Library,” Hartford Courant, October 18, 1954; “With a Twinkling Eye She Marks 100th Year,” West Hartford News, August 28, 1975; “Ethel Holcombe Dies; Former GOP Official,”Hartford Courant, July 17, 1976; “Edith Monson, Local Artist, Dies at 102,” Hartford Courant, October 3, 1977.

Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from Edith Monson:

The Blondes: oil
Flowers in Autumn: oil
Calendulas: oil
Still Life: Lilies: oil
Calla Lilies: oil
Morning Light: oil
Still Life with Tulips: oil
Calla Lilies: oil
Spring Flowers or “Still Life with Daffodils”: oil
Still Life with Daffodils: oil
Apple Blossoms: oil
Lilacs: oil
Still Life with Laurel: oil
Rhododendrons: oil
Plums & Pewter: oil
Still Life- Summer Fruit: oil
Still Life- Peppers: oil
Still Life – Summer Fruit: oil
The Broad Sun Flower: oil
Zinnias: oil
The Last of the Garden: oil
Morning Mist: oil
Morning Light: oil
Light and Shadow: oil
The Long Light: oil
Spanish Onion & Squash or Miscellaneous Still Life: oil
First Snow: oil
The Black Vase: oil
The Blue Carafe: oil
The Compote: oil
Studio Window: oil
Snowing: oil
Still Life with Red Tulips: oil
Gladioli: oil
Hydrangea: oil
Pink Geraniums: oil
Amaryllis: oil
Gloxinia: oil
Magnolias: oil
Zinnias: oil
Lilacs or Lilac Time: oil
Peonies: oil
Summer Gold: oil
Garden Flowers: oil
Still Life with Peppers: oil
Summer Bouquet: oil
The Pewter Jug: oil
Summer Souvenirs: oil
Still Life Lilies: oil
White and Gold: oil
The Old Bottle: oil
The Two Jugs: oil
Lanterns: oil
Studio Table: oil
Tulips: oil
The Green Bottle: oil
Before the Carnival: oil
The Blue Bottle: oil
Apple Blossoms: oil
Still Life: oil
Magnolias: oil
Monson, Edith Dale