Elizabeth O’Neill Verner was a leader in establishing Charleston, South Carolina as a dynamic cultural center who depicted the historic city’s landscapes, architectural landmarks, and local people. Verner worked in pastel on silk, etching, and painting. She was a member of the Charleston Etcher’s Club whose members did etchings of Charleston’s historic architecture. Their work, published in national media, brought widespread attention to the area’s charms. Verner did her own printing and sales, and during the spring seasons she opened her studio to tourists and housed visitors in her home. She also served as a Charleston tour guide and wrote and illustrated several books that promoted Charleston as a tourist destination. When the mayor tried to outlaw flower vendors, she fought to retain these Black women workers who came from outlying areas to sell their flowers and hand made baskets. These subjects appear regularly in her etchings. She was also one of the few artists of the Charleston Renaissance to work in pastel, which she pursued after being inspired by an exhibition of floral pastels by Laura Coombs Hills in Boston. Her former home and studio from 1938 is now The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Museum at 79 Church Street in Charleston.
Elizabeth O’Neill Verner
Categories: Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, Fine Art