Green began her career making illustrations in pen and ink and returned periodically to the medium as seen in this illustration for Henry Van Dyke's story "The Mansion." Green's ability to depict figures of varied ages, to suggest psychological engagement between them, and to incorporate complex landscape backgrounds into her compositions is evident in this image.
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It seemed so marvelous a thing for a rose to be blooming so far from cultivation that Dave for the moment could feel nothing but wonder. It was as if the forest in its old age brought forward a miracle of youth." This excerpt from "The Flowers" by Margarita Spalding Gerry presents the dramatic moment in the story that Green has chosen to illustrate. In addition to capturing the growing relationship between the aging florist Dave and the young boy Jeremy, she also beautifully illustrates the relationship between man and nature.
Rising vigorously out of the earth was a little rose bush, ca. 1908. Watercolor and charcoal on board. Published in Harper's Magazine, August 1908. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-128610 ; LC-USZC4-6289 (8)
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This singular work of art by Green mirrors the artist's positive approach to her life and work; it contains allusions to concrete and intangible elements vital to her as an artist and as a human being. These include large living and studio spaces, proximity to nature, and personal and professional support from her companions. Green depicts herself, her equally gifted colleagues and housemates Jessie Willcox Smith and Violet Oakley, and other friends enjoying one another's company amid the blooming grounds of the Red Rose Inn, one of the homes that the three artists shared. Green took the title from Henry Van Dyke's poem Inscriptions for a Friend's House, published opposite this image, which celebrates the close friendship between the artists.
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Like other illustrators of her time, Green worked from models. While a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art,she also learned about photography and used it in developing her illustrations. Most photographs she made were taken as aids for making a particular illustration. Her drawing of Rebecca, the little girl in this scene, closely resembles the accompanying photograph in every detail, from the folds in the dress to the style of the hair to the reflection on the shoe. The composition was set in a landscape drawn from the grounds of the Red Rose Inn.
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Won't you eat just one more kernal (sic), Thomas Jefferson? ca. 1905. Charcoal on board. Published in Harper's Magazine, June 1905. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-54785 ; LC-USZC4-9398 (9) Gift of Mrs. T.P. Huger.
Girl kneeling, n.d. Gelatin silver print. Collection of Ben and Jane Eisenstat (19)
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In this memorable image, Green envisions the heroine of Justus Miles Forman's story "The Dream," as she might have appeared when meeting the male protagonist. This Gothic tale involves a feud between two old landed families, a repeated dream that curses the men of one family, and the final destruction of that curse. The drawing represents one of the most pleasing examples of Green's highly praised decorative style.
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The power of a husband's and wife's relationship is integral to the story "Her Eyes are Doves" by Harriet Prescott Spofford. As a king battles internally between loyalty to his father's ruling tradition—signifying expansionism and war—and loyalty to his wife—who cares more for peace for the sake of the people—he draws upon a memory of his first sight of her against a glacier and remembers how and why he fell in love with her.
The wind blowing off the glacier, fluttering her gown, ca. 1910. Charcoal on board. Published in Harper's Magazine, January 1910. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-56037 ; LC-USZC4-9401 (13)
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