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Laura Coombs Hills

Still Life of Tea Roses

Circa 1915

Pastel on paper


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Laura Coombs Hills (American, 1859–1952).

This work is offered unframed.

Laura Coombs Hills first studied at the Cowles Art School in Boston, the New York Art Students League and with Helen Knowlton. Coombs was active in several Boston art organizations, including the Boston Art Club and Watercolor Club, as well as the American Society of Miniature Painters, the Copley Society (from 1892), the Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters, the American Federation of Artists, Society of American Artists (from 1897) and was made an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1906.

Although now best known for her floral works in pastel, Laura Coombs Hills was also a key figure in the revival of miniature painting in America. In 1904, she was awarded a Gold Medal for her miniatures at the St. Louis Exposition, and in 1916, she received the first Medal of Honor to be awarded by the Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters.

In the 1880s, Hills worked as a designer for Louis Prang and Company and also illustrated children's books. Her first solo exhibition took place at the Eastman Chase Gallery in Boston (1889), and was composed entirely of pastels. Hills soon established a routine of spending the winters at her Boston studio on Chestnut Street and summering in Newburyport at “The Goldfish,” a house that she had designed and built in 1900 on the bank of the Merrimack River.

Over the course of a long career, Hills exhibited widely and with success, including in Boston with Eastman Chase Gallery (1889, 1893), New York, the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900), the Art Institute of Chicago (1902–1930), San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition (1915), the Worcester Art Museum (1908), the Rembrandt Gallery in London (1908), the Portland Museum of Art (Maine, 1912) and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art (1898–1904, 1916, 1920, 1934). Coombs was the recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards, including from the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art (1916, 1920), a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle (1900), silver medals at the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo (1901) and the Charleston Exposition, South Carolina (1902), and the Gold Medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Hills also won medals of honor at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and second place prize at Corcoran (Washington, 1901). Laura Coombs Hills's work can be found in the private and public collections worldwide including the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.


Height: 14.13 inches / 35.89 cm
Width: 20 inches / 50.8 cm


Signed lower right

Condition Report

This work is in overall good condition.

Minor restoration to edge.

Art Period




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