[image-1]A native Charlestonian, Elizabeth Quale O’Neill Verner (born 1883) was an artist and preservationist — and is considered by some to be the best known South Carolina female artist of the 20th century. Verner began her studies with another well-known Charleston native, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (one of the catalysts of the Charleston Renaissance, FYI), and continued at the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia with noted instructor Thomas Anshutz.
Verner’s images of Charleston architecture and portraiture were captured as drawings, pastels, and etchings. After Verner’s husband died in 1925 she had to find a means of financial support, which she acquired through a variety of commissions from notable clients such as the Rockefeller Center, Historic Williamsburg, and Harvard Medical School.
Verner’s art studies continued into the 1930s when she studied etching at the Central School of Art in London and in 1937 when she visited Japan to learn sumi painting, brush painting with black ink. She was a book illustrator for Dubose Heyward’s Porgy and penned several other books like Prints and Impressions, Mellowed by Time, and The Stonewall Ladies and Other Places.
You can check out her works on display at the Corrigan Gallery starting on Fri. Nov. 3 with an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. If you can’t make it to the Verner exhibition at the Corrigan Gallery you can check out the famed artist’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as a number of museums across the Southeast.