Rhoda Holmes Nicholls (1854 - 1930)
Shinnecock Dunes, n.d.
Watercolor on paper
5 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches (sight)
Signed at lower left: Rhoda Holmes Nicholls
Born in England, Rhoda Holmes Nicholls had traveled in South Africa, Rome, Venice, and the Dolomites before settling in the United States with her husband, the American artist Burr Nicholls, whom she later divorced. (Her divorce made newspaper headlines as a cautionary tale of the threat a woman's success posed to domestic and marital bliss, as her work had been accepted to the Paris Salon, while her husband's was rejected.) Nicholls was a co-editor of the turn-of-the-century art journal Palette and Bench and a member of many artists' societies. She won medals at the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, where she exhibited a work based on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and at the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo in 1901. Particularly noted for her considerable skill in watercolor, Nicholls taught watercolor classes at the Art Students League in New York and at William Merritt Chase's popular summer school at Shinnecock, Long Island, where this watercolor was most likely executed.