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Katharine Barker

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1891 - 1984)

Born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Katharine Barker spent much of her childhood with her widowed mother living in Europe. Her summers were spent visiting relatives of her father in New York state. Barker first enrolled in classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of sixteen, but she did not become a full-time student until four years later. At the Academy, she studied under artist Hugh Breckenridge, Cecilia Beaux, among others. She participated in the inaugural exhibition of the group of women artists that would later become the Philadelphia Ten in 1917.

In 1922, Katharine married Howard Fussell and the couple had three children together. While her children were young, she put aside her painting to help raise her kids. Not until her boys were in school did she begin painting again. Barker produced an expansive portfolio - primarily consisting of still-lifes, landscapes, and commissioned portraits - and she continued to paint until her death.

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