Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933) was born in Boston and was a member of the prominent Cabot family. In 1874, she married Thomas Sergeant Perry, who taught briefly at Harvard and contributed literary criticism to prominent periodicals such as the Atlantic Monthly and North American Review. Through her husband, she became friends with writers such as Henry James and William Dean Howells. Primarily known as an artist, Perry was mentored by Claude Monet and helped introduce his impressionist techniques to the United States. The Perrys traveled throughout Europe and Japan. Increasingly, the family – Thomas, Lilla and daughters Margaret, Edith and Alice – relied financially on the income from Lilla’s paintings.
Read a biographical sketch on the National Museum of Women in the Arts web site.
As a poet, Lilla was a close friend and correspondent of Edwin Arlington Robinson. In 1916, she painted what is probably the best-known portrait of him, which is on permanent display in our Robinson Room. Our collection also includes her 1912 portrait of Howells.
In addition to the aforementioned portraits, our Lilla Cabot Perry Collection contains many letters as well as manuscripts, diaries, articles and memorabilia.
HIGHLIGHTED DONORS FOR THIS COLLECTION
Margaret Perry – primary donor
Clara (Mrs Carl Jefferson) Weber