The Old Housewife (Woman Peeling Apples)

Miss Elizabeth Anna Coy, pupil of Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase, and a pioneer in the work of the Rockford Art Association in bringing a higher appreciation of art to this city, died Saturday. During the past few weeks she looked forward to the crystallization of plans for the erection of a Rockford Art Museum on one of the hills of lovely Sinnissippi Park, overlooking Rock River. She will never see the completed building but something of the spirit of Anna Coy—who back in the last century left Rockford for New York and Paris and Holland to study art and bring back her inspiration to the little prairie city that she called home—will go into the building. Born in Guilford Township to William and Isabella R. Coy, one of the pioneer families of Winnebago County, Anna Coy graduated from East Rockford High School in 1869. Her interest in art drew her to New York City. She spent six years there, studying with W.M. Chase and Robert Henri, both internationally known. From Henri she received her chief inspiration; she was fond of telling anecdotes of this painter who possibly outranks every American artist. Later she went to Europe and studied in Paris and Holland, exhibiting work there. Critics often praised her sense of composition and design. From 1901 to 1905 she headed the art department of Rockford College. [Anna Coy’s contribution to Rockford Art Association was forceful and incalculable. She was its first director, and one of the early members who worked together to present the first exhibit in 1913.] Her ambition was to see Rockford have a home for the many beautiful pictures owned by the Art Association. She was also a member of the Mendelssohn Club and a life member of the Rockford Woman’s Club.—excerpted from “Anna Coy, Pupil of Great Masters, Dies,” Rockford Morning Star, 1930




Constant Pressure