Women’s History Month: Ethel Reed, Art Nouveau

Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Natalie Rabinowitz

unpublished Art Nouveau watercolour image by Ethel Reed

Women’s History Month: Ethel Reed, Art Nouveau.

I came across this stunning unpublished watercolour image by Ethel Reed.

An American graphic artist born in 1874, Newburyport, Massachusetts. Ethel was one of the first women to gain notability as a graphic designer; during the poster craze by her 18th birthday.

At 22, Ethel moved to Europe, and within two years, her works were seen in book illustrations, cover designs, and more than 25 posters. At 24, Ethel sadly disappeared from the public record. A year later, the 19th Amendment guaranteed all American women the right to vote.

A broken engagement, many lovers, one marriage that ended in divorce, two children, Ethel spent her last years in poverty. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, she died in 1912 at the age of 38 in London.

I had never heard of Ethel Reed. Then I think about other unsung women contributors to society, many good reads. Discover more about the Women in the Art Nouveau movement here.

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