Margaret J. Patterson is
internationally known for her woodblock prints, in black and white
or in color, examples of which are owned by the Smithsonian,
Metropolitan Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Cleveland
Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Art, South Kensington Museum in
London, and many others. Her earliest one person show in Europe was
in Paris in 1913. James Bakker Gallery in Cambridge, Mass. gave her
two retrospective shows in the 1980’s. A retrospective exhibition
of 50 of her paintings and prints, “Margaret J. Patterson:
Master of Color and Light”, was mounted in 2006 at the Calhoun
Museum of American Art in Cape Cod.
She was born on the island of Java during one of the journeys her parents took, her father being a sea captain. She spent her early years traveling around the world and, as an adult, retained her penchant for travel. Her work as a teacher at Dana Hall prep school in Massachusetts left her summers free and, except for the war years, she spent each summer doing art in Europe. Initially, she went to northern Europe but, by 1909, she had discovered Spain with its brighter light. Her color palette changed tone. After WW I, she most frequently went to Italy where she interpreted the mountains and architecture in a modernist style with loose brushwork. During this time she also did her earliest black and white woodblock prints including the one you see here of a picturesque monastery garden in Capri.