oil on canvas, 25 x 30
Fern Isabel Kuns was born on July 28, 1888. She grew up on her family's farm near Decatur, Illinois; one of five sisters and a brother. When she was thirteen she moved to California with an older sister and had her first experiences with art. She visited art galleries for the first time and became interested in painting when her sister began studying watercolor. Upon her return to the midwest, Coppedge studied at McPherson College and then the University of Kansas. From 1908-1910, Coppedge focused her interests in art by attending the Art Institute of Chicago. Following her married to Robert Coppedge and a teaching stint in Kansas, the couple moved east. She studied with Vincent DuMond and William Merritt Chase in New York at the Arts Student League, and then with John Carlson in Woodstock. In 1917, Coppedge was accepted to the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It was at PAFA that Coppedge studied with Daniel Garber and Henry Snell. She was a member of the Philadelphia Ten from 1922-1935. Coppedge was known to brave the elements in her bearskin coat and paint with frozen fingers- creating some of her most admired Bucks County winter scenes. Fern Coppedge died at her home in New Hope on April 12, 1951. Her paintings hang in many private collections and museums, including the James A. Michener Art Museum.