Woman of the Century/Allegra Eggleston

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

EGGLESTON, Miss Allegra, artist, born in Stillwater, Minn., 19th November, 1860. She is the ALLEGRA EGGLESTON.jpgALLEGRA EGGLESTON. second daughter of Edward Eggleston, the author, who came of a well-known Virginia family, with strains of Irish and Scotch in his descent. She inherited superior mental gifts from her father, combined with artistic qualities in her mother's family, which was of English origin. A delicate and high-strung child, she early showed a talent for drawing and modeling. One of her first works of art was an idol carved out of a piece of semi-decayed wood, when she was only six years of age. She drew constantly and modeled occasionally in clay, but she had no teaching until she was received into classes in Cooper Institute in October. 1875. She was under age, being not yet fifteen, but was accepted on account of remarkable promise. She did creditable work there for two years, after which she entered the studio of Wyatt Eaton, where she made rapid progress in painting from life. In 1879 she went to Europe in company with her father and family. While abroad she took two weeks' lessons under a Swiss wood-carver and astonished him by successfully carving the most difficult pieces as soon as she had learned the use of her tools. After her return home she occupied herself with wood-carving, painting also some portraits, which were exhibited in the annual exhibitions of the Society of American Artists. In 1882 she carved panels for a memorial mantel-piece in the editorial rooms of the "Century Magazine," on one of which was cut a portrait in bas-relief of Dr. J. G. Holland. That piece of work was destroyed by fire in 1888, and Miss Eggleston was called upon to replace it. Of late she has occupied herself much with hook illustrations. Her father's novel, "The Graysons." is illustrated by her, while many of the pictures in his popular school histories, as well as in other school books, bear her signature. She has illustrated a life of Columbus, written by her sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Eggleston Seelye, and edited by their father. Miss Eggleston is versatile. She does many kinds of artistic decorative work for amusement. Among other things she models in leather, having executed the cover for the album containing autographs of distinguished American authors, which was presented to Mrs. Grover Cleveland as an acknowledgment of her interest in the copyright bill, by Edward Eggleston. Miss Eggleston spends the winter in New York and makes her home during the rest of the year at Lake George, where she has a studio in her father's picturesque stone library.