Florence Bradshaw Brown ( 1868-
There is quite a bit of material available on the artist Florence Bradshaw Brown . Born in 1868 in Aiken , SC she studied at the Art Student League in NY and later studied in Paris. She married Harold Haven Brown in 1897 and they had two daughters , Beatrice and Barbara . In an article for Indianapolis Sunday Star, the writer noted what a talented family the foursome was.Barbara wrote children's books and Beatrice was an artist like her parents. Harold, in addition to being the head of the Herron Art Institute later became the president of the Provincetown Art Association .Florence assumed the position after his death. Florence Bradshaw Brown is perhaps best known for her watercolors and prints. Her linoleum block prints "Parrot" and ‚"Elephant", (probably created in Provincetown in the 1930's), are quite interesting. In some respects they are similar to coloring book images with distinct shapes that could be colored in. During the 1930's Florence taught children's design classes at the PAA using linoleum block prints as a medium.
What is perhaps more interesting is the artists choice of wildlife and how she represents it. Parrots may have been prevalent in Provincetown even in the 1930‚ since Provincetown actually has a parrot rescue league. Elephants in Provincetown, perhaps a circus ? ( This would take a little more research into Cape Cod of the 1930's) Wildlife may also have been a topic of interest for her students. At any rate, Florence depicts a colorful parrot in a small square box, his wings literally clipped by his confines. Likewise in ‚"Elephant",the big fellow is placed in a box that prevents any hope of his being able to move. Based on these two images it seems the artist may have been commenting on wildlife in captivity.
Update (7/16/2008) - Since the last posting, American Art Review has come out with its August 2008 edition. In the adds on page 40 there is a white line block print by the artist Ellen Ravenscroft (1876-1949) entitled ‚"Elephants Parading in Provincetown " with no apparent date.The Provincetown Art Association& Museum,however, lists another of Ravenscroft's white line woodcut entitled ‚"Provincetown‚" dated 1930 in its permanent collection. Based on this , it looks like there were elephants on the Cape when Florence Bradshaw Brown created her woodblock,"Elephant".