Eliza Pratt Greatorex

Eliza Pratt Greatorex

Portrait of Eliza Pratt Greatorex

Eliza Pratt Greatorex (December 25, 1819 – February 9, 1897) was an American artist born in Manorhamilton, Ireland. She was the first woman to be elected an associate of the National Academy of Design.


  • Career 1
  • Works 2
  • Children 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


She was the daughter of Reverend James Calcott Pratt, and came to New York in 1840, where in 1849 she married Henry Wellington Greatorex. Subsequently she studied art with William H. Witherspoon and James Hart in New York, with Émile Lambinet in Paris, and also at the Pinakothek in Munich. During 1879 she studied etching with C. Henri Toussaint. In 1857 she visited England, and spent 1861–1862 in Paris. She was also abroad in 1870–1873, visiting Nuremberg and Ober-Ammergau, Germany, and various parts of Italy.

In 1868 she was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design, being the first woman who received that recognition, and was also a member of the Artists' Fund Society of New York. She died in Paris.


Bay of Naples, Italy, etching by Eliza Pratt Greatorex

Although she began as a landscape painter, Greatorex later devoted herself to pen-and-ink sketches, many of which appeared in book form. It was through these sketches that she acquired her reputation. Notable among her books were The Homes of Ober-Ammergau (Munich, 1872); Summer Etchings in Colorado (New York, 1873); Etchings in Nuremberg (1875); and Old New York from the Battery to the Bloomingdale (1876), the text of which was prepared by her sister, Matilda P. Despard.

Eighteen of the sketches illustrative of New York were exhibited at the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Her large pen-drawing of "Durer's House in Nuremberg" is in the Vatican, Rome. Among her paintings are View on the Housatonic (1863); The Forge (1864); Bloomingdale (1868); Chateau of Madame Oliffe (1869); Somerindyke House (1869); Bloomingdale Church, painted on a panel taken from the North Dutch Church, Fulton Street; St. Paul's Church and The North Dutch Church, each painted on panels taken from these Churches (1876); Normandy (1882); and The Home of Louis Philippe in Bloomingdale, New York (1884).

Greatorex's work was exhibited in a 2010 exhibition by the Thomas Cole National Historical Site and Hawthorne Fine Art, entitled, Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School.[1]


Her daughter Kathleen Honora, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, 10 September 1851, studied art in New York, Rome, and Munich. She devoted herself to decorative work and book illustration, and won success as a painter, obtaining honorable mention for her work in the Paris salon of 1886. Many of her paintings were flower-pieces: The Last Bit of Autumn (1875); Goethe's Fountain, Frankfort (1876); panels with Thistles and Corn (1877); and Hollyhocks (1883).

Another daughter, Elizabeth Eleanor, was born in New York, 26 May 1854, and studied art in the National Academy of Design and at the Art Students League of New York, in Paris with Carolus-Duran, in Munich, and in Italy. Like her sister, she decorated china, illustrated books, and painted. She exhibited at the National Academy The Bath (1884), and Color that Burns as if no Frost could Tame (1885).

Her son, Thomas, was born about 1850 in New York, and died in Silverton, Colorado.


  1. ^ http://www.hawthornefineart.com/data/web/catalogue/46_RememberLadiesCatalog.pdf


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the  
  •  "Greatorex, Eliza".  
  •  Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Greatorex, Eliza Pratt".