Eliza Draper Gardiner Biography

Eliza Draper Gardiner




Eliza Draper Gardiner was born on October 29, 1871 in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island. She studied art at Friends School in Providence and then the Rhode Island School of Design in 1893, graduating in 1897 and then in Europe where she studied further with Charles Woodberry, learning printmaking. Gardiner's specialty was color woodcuts of children. She was influenced by the color woodcut printmaker and teacher Arthur Dow, whose work she saw in a show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1895. She began exhibiting her work in 1910 and her black and white blockprints (she worked with both woodcut and linocut) in 1915, with an exhibition at the Berlin Photographic Co. in New York in 1916, where she showed 7 prints. She continued to exhibit on the East Coast throughout the 1920s and 30s.

After teaching art, beginning in 1892 at the "Moses Brown School' (formerly the "Friends School) Gardiner taught relief printmaking, watercolor and drawing for thirty-one years at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, beginning in 1908. She was also adept at lithography and worked with George Miller to produce a series of 10 lithographs in 1932. Over her lifetime she created 59 color blockprints, 15 black and white blockprints, 5 etchings and 10 lithographs.

She was a member of the Massachusetts graphic arts group, the Provincetown Printmakers. A publication about the artist's work, containing reproductions and biographical material, "Eliza Draper Gardiner: Master of the Color Woodblock", was published in 1987 by the Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island. She was active in the Provincetown Art Association, Print Makers Society of California, Providence Watercolor Club, American Color Print Society and the Philadelphia Woodcut Society. Her work is represented in the Detroit Institute of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Philbrook Art Center.

Eliza Draper Gardiner died on January 14, 1955 in Edgewood, Rhode Island, USA.