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Lucia Fairchild Fuller (1870-1924)

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Lucia Fairchild Fuller (1870-1924) was the daughter of the wealthy Boston, Massachusetts, investor Charles Fairchild. Her parents gathered many artists around them, including members of the Fuller family and John Singer Sargent, perhaps Boston's most famous 19th century artist. But he strongly disapproved when the 18-year-old Lucia became deeply attracted to Henry Brown Fuller, a fellow student in art class some five years her senior. For the next few years they carried on a romance. In 1893 Lucia Fairchild placed a mural in the Women's Building at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinios an immense showcase of the United States' wealth and power. Henry and Lucia married late that year and moved to Deerfield, Massachusetts, Fuller's home town, where this photograph was taken. For several years they lived in various places and had two children, Charles Fairchild Fuller and Clara Bartram Fuller. Lucia began painting miniature portraits in 1894. Although this form of art had fallen out of favor, Lucia was one of a group of artists whose mastery of it revived interest in the form, and Lucia supported the family through the sales of her work to the wealthy and fashionable. The family eventually settled in Plainfield, New Hampshire, near the Cornish art colony established by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. They lived there for a number of years, but Lucia was increasingly crippled by a disease later recognized as multiple sclerosis, which steadily robbed her of her health and ability to paint. She died in 1924.


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