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Fri March 9, 2012
Caro Weir Ely
Julian Alden Weir (1852–1919) was a noted American Impressionist painter who purchased a summer home in Branchville (Ridgefield and Wilton) for his family in the early 1880s. Before that, the family lived in Windham. The New York artist was drawn to Connecticut’s picturesque landscape.
J. Alden Weir’s daughter was also a gifted artist. Caroline (Caro) Weir Ely (1884 – 1974), the eldest of the three Weir daughters, was an accomplished bookbinder, printmaker, etcher, and painter. She was educated in both New York and Paris and continued to work, maintaining a studio, even after she married and became a mother – a rare occurrence in the early 1900s. She settled in Old Lyme, Connecticut, a town known for its art colony. Like her father, she often painted near her home. Following her father’s death, she sometimes printed his etched plates, producing posthumous editions of his landscape prints.
Among the works by Caro Weir Ely in The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS)’s graphics collection is an etching of “Angelica” (an herb), reproduced in The Herbarist in 1943,and an impression of her father’s etching, “Landscape Sketch of Fields,”that she printed after his death. CHS also has an etched portrait of Caro which her father made when she was a little girl in Branchville.