Pyle Students

John Wolcott Adams was born on  November 7, 1874, in Worcester, Massachusetts, son of John Francis  and Ellen Wilson Adams and descendant of an established New England  family which had produced two United States presidents. He first  studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and,  in 1898, he went to New York, where he attended the Art Students  League classes. Soon his work began to appear in well-known magazines  of the day, and he would become a frequent contributor to such  periodicals as Everybody's, Success, Youth's Companion, Saturday  Evening Post, Delineator, Collier's, and others. Then Adams  came to Wilmington to study with Howard  Pyle as an established professional illustrator. He attended  the 1904 Monday night lectures where Pyle sometimes commented  on his drawings of New England scenes, as recorded in the Rush-Leach  notebooks. For part of 1904 Adams shared a studio with Henry  Peck, while Clifford Ashley was away. After his sojourn in  Wilmington, Adams settled in New York permanently. In 1903 he  married Francis Pendleton Sheldon, who divorced him in 1920;  they had one daughter, Frances.

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Stanley Massey Arthurs was one of Howard Pyle's few students who were native Delawareans. He was born November 24, 1877, to Nancy and Joshua Arthurs, in Kenton, Delaware, where Joshua Arthurs owned a general store. Arthurs was interested in art as a boy, and, after leaving school, he studied in Wilmington with Clawson Hammit,  who urged him to study with Pyle. Convinced of his talent, Pyle enthusiastically accepted him as a student. In 1897 Arthurs joined the classes Pyle was teaching at Drexel Institute, and in 1898 he was invited to attend the summer scholarship classes at Chadds Ford. His first illustration was published in the December 2, 1899, issue of Harper's Weekly. When Pyle left Drexel to open his own school in Wilmington, Arthurs went with him and worked in one of the studios Pyle had built for the school. When Pyle died in 1911, Arthurs purchased his studio and, until he died, led a quiet, solitary life there, dedicated to his work.  He lectured occasionally at the Wilmington Academy and did some teaching in his studio.

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Clifford Ashley was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on December 18, 1881, son of Abiel Davis and Caroline Morse Ashley. After graduation from New Bedford High School he went to Boston to study art at the Eric Pape School, which N.C. Wyeth, Sidney Chase, and Ashley's cousin Henry Peck also attended. The four students spent the summer of 1901 in Annisquam, Massachusetts, under George L. Noyes's tutelage.

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William James Aylward was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 5,1875. His father was a shi builder and lake captain, and as a boy Aylward spent many hours in the shipyards and acquired a lifelong love of the sea. His first jobs were for engraving houses in Milwaukee and Chicago, work which he described to Richard Lykes (in a letter in 1946) as "ten years of drudge at commercial work." At the age of twenty-six decided that he would like to learn to paint, and wrote to Howard Pyle, asking if he could study under him. Pyle suggested that he first submit some of his work. Too impatient to do that, Aylward came East to Wilmington with Arthur Becher, was accepted as a student, and shared the middle studio on Franklin Street with Becher, Clifford Ashley, Gordon McCouch, Henry J, Peck, and Ernest J. Cross. In Wilmington he met and married Ida Dougherty, a Pyle student who specialized in portraits.
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Emilie Benson was born in Philadelphia in 1870. She studied with William Merritt Chase and with Howard Pyle at Drexel in 1899. She co- authored many stories for children with her husband, Alden Arthur Knipe, and illustrated several of them.
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Anna Whelan Betts was born in Philadelphia and spent most of her life in the Delaware Valley. She began her career as an artist studying with Robert Vonnoh at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and continues at Drexel under Howard Pyle. From 1897 to 1899, Anna Betts was a member of Pyle's school of illustration. She also attended Pyle's summer school at Chadds Ford in 1899 with Bertha Corson Day, Ellen Bernard Thompson, and Sarah S. Stilwell. Betts and her fellow students did illustrations during 1899 for Paul Leicester Ford's Janice Meredith, which was to be published in Collier's, From this beginning, Betts went on to illustrate magazines including Harper's Monthly, Century, Ladies' Home journal, and St. Nicholas, as well as books. 
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Ethel Franklin Betts, sister of Anna Whelan Betts, spent most of her life in the Philadelphia area. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, she studied with Howard Pyle at Drexel School of Illustration in 1899. She moved to Wilmington with other Pyle upils in 1900, when their teacher set up studio, and classes in Delaware. There she shared a studio with her sister, Anna, and Dorothy Warren. She remained in Wilmington for two winters, the second of which she lived in the Pyle household. After leaving Pyle's studio, she worked in a  studio in her parent's barn until her marriage in 1909. After her marriage, she did little work, mainly illustration, for school texts and portraits.

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John Betts was one of Howard Pyle's students at Drexel and a scholarship student at Chadds Ford in 1898. He is known to have been working in Philadelphia about 1907. He illustrated Captain Bluitt; a Tale of Old Turley, by Charles Heber Clark, 1901, and The Velvet Glove, by Henry Seton Merriman, 1902.
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Born in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Bonsall was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins. As a Howard Pyle pupil, Bonsall attended classes at the Drexel Institute in 1897. In Paris, she studied under Castaigne and Collin. Her membership in clubs included the Plastic Club, the Print Club, and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Bonsall was the first woman to win the Toppan Prize from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1885 and its Mary Smith Prize in 1888 and 1897.


Elizabeth Bonsall drew primarily animal subjects and is known for her illustrations for The Pied Piper. Her work can be seen in such magazines as the Sunday Magazine and Harper's Monthly during 1907 and 1908. She also produced a Cat Calendar and A Child's Book of Cats, in addition to many cat paintings.

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Harold Matthews Brett was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, on December 3,1880, and grew up in Brookline, a suburb of Boston. His study of art began in 1900 at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he attended the classes of Philip Hale and Frank Benson. In 1901 Brett moved to New York, where he studied and was awarded three scholarships at the Art Students League; H. Siddons Mowbray, Kenyon Cox, and Waiter Appleton Clark were among his teachers there. Brett set up his own studio in 1903.

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Ethel Pennewill Brown, a native Wilmingtonian, began her art studies at age eleven in Clawson Hammitt's Saturday morning classes. She received a scholarship the next year. There she met Ethel Poyntell Canby, with whom she would share a studio and be friends for many years. Brown left Wilmington to study with John Henry Twachtman at the Art Students League in New York. At this time, the artist sold her first drawing to Good Housekeeping's art editor, Harry Fangel. For the next several years, Fangel supplied her with many more manuscripts to illustrate. 
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