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Susette Schultz Keast

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / 1892 - 1932)

Susette Schultz Keast studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under such notable instructors as Henry Snell, Elliott Dangerfield, Hugh Breckenridge, Thomas Anshutz and William Merritt Chase. She received her Cresson European Fellowship at the young age of 19. A talented artist in her own right, she was also the grandniece of Franz Xavier Winterhalter, court painter to Empress Eugenie of France.

In 1919, she married prominent architect, William Morton Keast. The engaging couple traveled frequently, including several trips to China and Japan, before settling in Philadelphia and raising their two daughters. Susette's artwork was strongly influenced by the Orient, to the point of having her home studio created from the palace of a Chinese Emperor that was shipped back to the States.

Keast was dedicated to fostering the professional growth of women artists. She was a member and chairwoman of the Eight Philadelphia Women. They exhibited regularly at the Plastic Club and the Art Club of Philadelphia. She was also a member of the Philadelphia Ten, replacing Cora Brooks who died suddenly of pneumonia in 1930. Tragically, Keast, too, died very suddenly in 1932 at the age of 40. (She contracted a brief, fatal illness during a trip to Canada.)

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