Mrs. Josephine Everett

Picture of Rail Line Opening
A 1904 picture of the opening of a new
rail line celebration. Mr. Everett is the 5th
person from the left standing in front of
the car and we believe Josephine is to his
left with their daughter Dorothy.

Mrs. Henry A. Everett (1866 -1938), born Josephine Pettengill, married street railway and power magnate Henry Everett (1856 - 1917) in June of 1886. She was a passionate patron of the arts. Known to loan pieces of her collection to various museums all over the country. She served as a trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Pasadena Art Institute (part of the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA) and upon her death bequeathed her collection to be divided up among Cleveland, Pasadena and the San Diego (CA) Museum of Fine Arts. She was one of five art collectors (G.W.V. Smith, Ada Moore, Bartlett Arkell & Adaline Havemeyer Frelinghuysen) that purchased numerous works of Woodward's art, 9 total. However, so very little  is known about  her life.  No  matter

Henry A. Everett

Henry A. Everett

what we did, where we searched, we could not find a single picture of her. Not one single profile or biography could be found. None the less, from Woodward's own clippings we have an uncited article about her. In the article, we learn that she tended to collect American art to the criticism of her friends. She was also the kind of collector whose interest did not lie in her own preferences but rather, "what the artist does best."

Mr. Everett made his name in electric rail development, the precursor to today's buses and freight services (like UPS) contributing significantly to providing interurban rail services to surrounding communities. Not only did interurban rails provide passenger service to the public but it also delivered goods and commodities- milk being the standard - from the rural farming communities to the urban centers of Cleveland. It was the first of its kind in the country, before Chicago and even New York City. Cleveland was the heart of the nation's post-industrial revolution. It was the center of steel production (US Steel), oil and fledgling gas industry (Standard Oil), as well as, its part in the rise of the automobile industry and many of the infrastructural systems still staples of today's urban centers, such as public transportation and freight delivery. And Everett was one of its innovators. By the 1890's, he owned and controlled all but one of Cleveland's light rail lines. The Everetts split their time between Cleveland and Pasadena, CA where we believe Henry had his hand in developing Pasadena's interurban rail system which was bought by Pacific Electric in 1902. Today the light rail service is part of Los Angelas' public transportation system.

G.W.V.MrsEverett in Japanese robe
Quote from uncited clipping

Henry died in Pasadena in 1917 and Mrs. Everett would pass twenty-one years later in 1938. Upon her death, she would leave an endowment between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Cleveland Museum of Fine Arts and her name, along with her daughter Dorothy's, is still listed among the museum's benefactors. She would also leave her collection to the arts to be divided up among 3 museums, with Cleveland getting the first choice, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena second and the San Diego Museum of Fine Arts the third choice. A search of the museums' websites to see what remains found only 4 pieces still in the Norton Simon Museum collection. Of the 10 works she owned of Woodward's, none remain in any of the collections and we know the whereabouts of 9 of them. In a letter received by Woodward from the law firm, Hauxhurst, Inglis & Sharp, in Cleveland informing him what became of the work purchased by Mrs. Everett.

"Dear Mr. Woodward:
We have made a check of the inventory of Mrs. Everett's estate and find that the paintings listed below were included therein. In accordance with your request we have listed the sizes where they were available and the institutions to which the paintings were distributed. Under the terms of Mrs. Everett's will the Cleveland Museum of Art had the first choice of her paintings and art objects, Pasadena Art Institute of Pasadena, California, the second choice, and Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, California, the third choice.

Pasadena Art Institute:
    My Winter Shelf - 30x36 - oil
    Gray Barn in Sunlight - 30x27 - oil
    October - 40x50 - oil
    Evening Silence - 50x40 - oil
    Farmland Ledge - oil
    Slanting Silo - 19x28 - chalk

Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, California:
    Gathering Sap - 25x30 - oil

Not Chosen:
    Grey Boards - 18x22 - chalk
    Proud Rooster - 19x22 - chalk

You will note that all but two of your paintings have been distributed under the terms of Mrs. Everett's will to the art galleries above named. We are planning to have a sale of the remaining art objects at Mrs. Everett's Pasadena residence on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan 11, 12, 13 and 14. These sales begin at 10:30 and will last until 7:30 of the days mentioned. If you are interested in the two pictures which are set for sale, it is my suggestion that you address a letter to Mr. Gurney E. Newlin, who represents Mr. Fred F. Wilkison, the Executor of Mrs. Everett's will in the probate proceedings pending in Los Angeles County, California, at 1020 Edison Building, Los Angles, California.

If there is any further information which I may give you, please call upon me.

Very truly yours,
H.A. Hauxhurst

October Gold
October Gold

There is one notable exception to this list, the 35 x 42 painting October Gold. The lawyers omitted it, either by oversight or Mrs. Everett gave it away before her death and thus not part of the probate proceedings, October Gold spent some time in one of the California museums and ended up in the collection of Pasadena's California Technical Institute (Cal Tech) in the 1980's before being sold to a private buyer. None the less, not one of the paintings remain in any of these collections. They are all now privately owned. The website did follow up with the Norton Simon Museum for any information they had on the paintings they once held and were provided the following information regarding the sale of several items:

Sold at Sotheby's, Los Angeles, March 17, 1980, sale #272
    My Winter Shelf - Lot 325; new owner unknown
    Gray Barn in Sunlight - Lot 324; new owner unknown

The following works were sold by the Pasadena Art Museum and we have no records of their sales:
    October - Sold in 1963; new owner unknown
    Evening Silence- Sold in 1970; new owner unknown
    Farmland Ledge- Sold in 1970; new owner unknown

North Adams clipping
North Adams clipping,
March 23, 1932

It was well-known that Woodward rarely traveled to exhibitions. Not only was it very costly for him, he had always felt strongly that he did not want his condition to influence the purchases of his work. He did not want sympathy to diminish the merit of the work itself. However, we have found some evidence that Woodward may have traveled to meet with Mrs. Everett. The clipping to the left cites that he traveled with his nurse and cousin to stay with friends, the Tripps, in Rye, NY so that he could attend an exhibit in New York City. Doing some follow up, we discover that he was exhibiting two chalk drawings, Mount Greylock in December and Twin Barns at the 43rd Annual Exhibition of the Water Color Society around the same time.

We also learned that Mrs. Everett was part of a Committee of Patrons and Benefactors for the Society, of which Woodward was listed as a "Sustaining Associate Member." Looking further we discover they both shared membership in the famed Salmagundi Club as well. If you want to know just how valued Mrs. Everett was by Woodward, this says it all. There were few people he would go to such lengths and trouble to accommodate and on top of all that, appear in person at a show in New York... not to mention Woodward, as far as we know, had not painted in watercolor since he was a kid.

J.H. Miller Galleries, Inc.
Uncited article clipping about
Mrs. Everett found in RSW's papers

Known works purchased
by Josephine Everett:

My Winter Shelf
October Gold
Gray Barn in Sunlight
Evening Silence
Farmland Ledge
Slanting Silo
Gathering Sap
Grey Boards
Proud Rooster