biography of Sophie ANDERSON (1823-1903)

Birth place: Paris, France

Death place: England

Addresses: Cincinnati (0H) and Manchester, PA, 1849-54; Europe, from 1854

Profession: Genre, landscape and portrait painter

Studied: Steuben in Paris (before 1848)

Exhibited: Western Art Union, Cincinnati, c.1849; NAD, 1860, perhaps 1883; Royal Academy, London, frequently, 1855-96; Grosvenor Gal., British Inst., Royal Soc. British Artists, all in London

Comments: A daughter of the French architect and engineer, Charles A. C. Gengembre, she accompanied her parents to America in 1849. The family first settled in Cincinnati, where, as Miss S. Gengembre, she painted portraits, contributed five illustrations to Henry Howe's Historical Collections of the Great West (1851), and exhibited at the Western Art Union. Within a few years the family moved east to Manchester, a small town two miles below Pittsburgh (PA). In 1854 Sophie Gengembre married the artist Walter Anderson (see entry) and the two left for Europe, where they remained, living chiefly in England (London, Dalston, and Bramly) and later on the isle of Capri (arrived by 1871, Sophie returned to England by at least 1894). She achieved great success abroad, gaining popularity for her sentimental genre pictures. The Andersons returned to America at least once, in 1860, when both exhibited at the National Academy as residents of Manchester, PA. She also worked for Louis Prang & Co., chromolithographers, producing for them the Prattling Primrose" and "Dotty Dimple" paintings. Cf. Mrs. Sophie West.

Sources: G&W; McCreery, "The French Architect of the Allegheny City Hall," 238-39; Cist, Cincinnati in 1851; Hamilton, 265; Graves, Dictionary; Cowdrey, NAD; Naylor, NAD (entry reads as Mrs. Sophie Anderson (?) for 1883 exhibition). More recently, see Gerdts, Art Across America, vol. 2: 193-94; Christopher Wood, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, vol. 1: 24; Petteys, Dictionary of Women Artists, 18."

Legals