Ethel Reed Biography

Ethel Reed, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, established a reputation as an important illustrator and designer in Boston and London. My own poster design is influenced by her style, and its flower motifs are drawn from her own work, primarily her illustrations to Louise Chandler Moulton's Childhood's Country (Boston, Copeland & Day; London, J. Bowden, 1896). I took pleasure from her simple yet elegant use of line that constructed such exquisite flowers.

Ethel Reed (1874-1912) was an internationally recognized American graphic artist.[1] In 1890s, her works received a critical acclaim in America and Europe. In 2016 they were on exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

Information about Ethel Reed can be found in Philip B. Meggs's A History of Graphic Design, Third Edition (1998), and in Inspiring Reform: Boston's Arts and Crafts Movement, catalogue to an exhibit at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, 1997. The latter source features a good illustration of the cover of Arabella and Araminta, Stories by Gertrude Smith with XV Pictures by Ethel Reed (1895), as well as some biographical and bibliographic information on Reed.

-- Corinne Back