LAURA COOMBS HILLS
Laura Coombs Hills experienced immediate success in 1886 when she first exhibited a collection of miniature portraits, produced with watercolor on ivory, at the Boston Art Club. Over the following decades, she became a prolific member of a modern American miniature revival. Due to failing eyesight and waning interest in miniature portrait commissions, Hills turned to floral still-lifes in pastel in the 1920s. This shift in her career was very well received by an eager public. With solo shows every year from 1921 to 1947, it was not unusual for Hills to sell three-fourths or the whole show within minutes of the exhibition’s opening.
Her work has continually been recognized for its charmingly natural quality and vivacious use of color. Hills was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1906 and was a founding member of the Guild of Boston Artists in 1914. She passed away in 1952 in her hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts.