Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rhoda Holmes Nicholls

Self-Portrait, 1880 (oil on canvas)

Born this day in 1854: Rhoda Holmes Nicholls (1854–1930), noted painter and art educator 

Nicholls was born Rhoda Holmes in Conventry, England. She had already gained a name for herself when she married American painter Burr H. Nicholls in 1884. The couple lived in the United States, and Nicholls made quite a name for herself in the art world there as well. She won numerous prizes at various exhibitions, including the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo of 1901. She taught watercolor for many years in New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. She also coedited Palette and Brush and served on the staff of Art Interchange and the Art Amateur.
Nicholls was most noted for her exquisite watercolor work.

A Summer Girl

Watching Baby

Still Life, c. 1900 
Peasant Woman with Pitcher

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  1. Rhoda Holmes Nicholls is the sister of my great grandfather. I love that you honour her in Femilogue and think she is very deserving of this. As an artist she was way ahead of her time and as well as being fiercely independent for a woman of her time. She was America's foremost watercolourist but seems to have faded almost into obscurity. I manage a page in her honour on Facebook which I call 'Rhoda Holmes Nicholls - Discovering Rhoda'. I am building up a selection of her works and articles and request people to please forward me pictures of her paintings that I can add. Thanks so much for the recoginition you have given her. I am happy to comment as myself as I dont fit into any of the selections in comment as... Lynda (chose anon as it wont let me post with out a choice.)

    1. Thanks so much, Lynda! I will check out your Facebook page. So many women were so well-known in their time, but we seem to have written them out of our history. Keep spreading the word!

  2. Hi Jean

    Please note that Edward Carleton Holmes (1843-1932, co-author of rugy football rules) was not the uncle of Rhoda Holmes Nicholls (b. Coventry, 1854; d. 1930).

    Rhoda Holmes Nicholls, whose parents were William Groome Holmes (1820-1875) and Marianne Cooke, was born Rhoda Carleton Holmes*.

    It was Edward's father, Edward Carleton Holmes Snr (1819-1909) who was RHN's uncle. Thus, the relationship between RHN and ECH Jnr of rugby rules fame was that of first cousins.

    Peter King Smith BSc
    Family researcher
    The Netherlands

    See family tree:

    * There are three women in this family tree who were all born with the same name of Rhoda Carleton Holmes and so in the family tree on Zimapanners they are refeered to as RCH 1st; RCH 2nd and RCH 3rd. Your RHN is therefore RCH 2nd.

  3. Rodney Carleton HolmesSeptember 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I am Rodney Carleton Holmes-Rhoda Holmes Nicholls is my great aunt-I had a photocopy of the family tree compiled by RHN which I sent to the Williams Art Museum-Had a calligrapher do up a new family tree-have photoraphed it in segments if anybody is interested

  4. Hi. My mother is looking to sell a watercolor by Rhoda. Do you know the best way for her to do this? Do you know of anyone who specifically collects her work? Thanks.