Douglass, Eleanor

Eleanor Douglass was born May 24, 1872 in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada, daughter of William and Polly Gaukel Douglass. Growing up she spent much time with the Ojibwa Indians of the Saugeen Reservation near her home. The Indians had their own name for her: Phpense (Laughing Girl). She became a skillful canoeist and horsewoman. She studied art at the Royal Canadian Academy and about 1900 she converted a log schoolhouse in Willink, NY, into her home and studio. She tramped the nearby woods every day to find the woodland scenes that were the subjects of most of her paintings. Her work became well-known in the art community. She exhibited her paintings in Buffalo, NY, at the Royal Canadian Academy and in many of the major cities of Canada. Her paintings hung in the famous Macbeth Galleries on Fifth Avenue in NYC as well as in Chicago. Her career as an accomplished artist was cut off by an early death. Eleanor died at her mother’s home in Chicago November 14, 1914 of heart failure and is buried in Mt. Greenwood cemetery there.

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