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Edith Lake Wilkinson

August 23, 1868 - July 19, 1957


Edith Lake Wilkinson was an American artist who lived and painted in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the early decades of the 20th century. She was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and she moved to New York at the age of twenty to study art in the Arts Student League of New York. She remained at the League through 1891 and studied with a number of important American painters, including James Carroll Beckwith, William Merritt Chase, and Kenyon Cox. She also earned a degree from Columbia Teacher’s College in 1905. From 1914 to 1923, she spent extensive time in Provincetown as a member of Provincetown Art Colony where she studied art and painted with other artists. During this time, she thrived and honed her impressionistic technique. In addition, she also took up block printing, most notably White-Line Print, a new technique started in 1915 by a group of artists known as the Provincetown Printers. In 1924, she was committed to an asylum for the mentally ill and remained there for most of her life. When she passed, her work was packed into a trunk and remained undiscovered for forty years. Recently, the artwork was discovered, and her work is highlighted in the film Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.

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