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Susan Catherine Waters

May 18, 1823 - July 7, 1900


Susan Catherine Moore Waters was born in Binghamton, New York. Though talented, Waters’ only recorded education in art was from classes she took at the Friendsville Boarding School for Females. Waters began painting portrait commissions to support her family after her husband had fallen ill, with her earliest portrait found in 1843. She worked exclusively in portraiture yet did express her desire to work in landscapes in 1851. In 1886 Waters moved to Bordentown, New Jersey, where she began to paint both animals and still-lifes. She and her husband also worked in ambrotypes and daguerreotypes. Waters is recognized as diverging from the usual path of female artistry (that being quilts, embroidery, and watercolors) for her painting of portrait commissions. She is also recognized for her having her income come specifically from art, a career choice that was considered bold for women at the time.

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