Jane Stouffer Williams Biography

Jane Stouffer Williams




Jane Stouffer was born in Hartley, Iowa on April 24, 1928. Her father, Samuel Stouffer, was a world famous Harvard sociologist. She grew up, the second of three children, in the Hyde Park neighborhood at the University of Chicago, and moved eventually to Boston, nearby Harvard University, where her father taught. She attended the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Art Education. She attended the Boston Museum School for five years, before receiving a fellowship which enabled her to study art in Italy for one year. It was at the Boston Museum School that she met her first husband, Robert Wells, with whom she had three children.

Mrs. Williams met her second husband, Donald Capron Williams, while attending a sailing club on the Charles River in Boston. They were married in 1978. They first moved to a house in Moon, VA, then to Wicomico Church, to a house on the Chesapeake, in the 1980s. The Williams family has been maritime enthusiasts whose interest in sailing drew them to settle in the Northern Neck.

Jane Williams was a life-long artist, and her work graces several public buildings in both Northumberland and Lancashire Counties. She designed the cross for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, in Kilmarnock, logos and seals for Northumberland County, the Historical Society, and several private businesses. Her poster for the Gloucester Daffodil Festival is still being displayed years after she won the poster contest twice, in 1995 and 1997.

Mrs. Williams taught studio art, print making, drawing, and painting for 40 years, both in private and adult education classes. She also helped teach European art seminars for Northeastern University, in Boston. She was a former president of the Mathews Art Group and the Rappahannock Art League, for whom she regularly conducted art history tours, to the museums in Washington, DC. Mrs. Williams, the author and illustrator of a children’s book, was also the president of the Chesapeake Bay Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

Mrs. Williams created most of her works in the second-floor studio that her husband lovingly designed and constructed by hand for her. Mr. Williams assisted his wife by constructing many of the unusual-shaped painting canvases and frames for her work. He also designed and created an etching press for his wife.

Jane Stouffer Williams died on January 14, 2009 in Wicomico Church, Virginia.