National Museum of Women in the Arts
Eliza Pratt Greatorex
December 25 1819 - February 09 1891
Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle, Eliza Greatorex, 1869. Oil on canvas. 30 x 25 inches (76 x 64 cm). National Academy Museum, New York, NY, USA.
Place of Birth:
Manor Hamilton
American, Irish
Phonetic Spelling:
ee-(L-EYE)-zah prat GRAYT-ohr-ehks
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting
Artistic Role(s):
Etcher, Graphic Artist, Illustrator, Oil Painter, Painter, Printmaker, Sketcher
Artist's Biography:
Eliza Pratt Greatorex was a contributor to the American etching revival of the late nineteenth century. Like many American women artists, including Mary Cassatt and Mary Nimmo Moran, Greatorex traveled throughout Europe and the United States and documented her travels in impressionistic paintings, sketches, and etchings. Greatorex, who shared a studio and traveled with her daughters Elizabeth Eleanor and Kathleen Honora, both notable artists themselves, exhibited internationally and was well-known for her drawings of historic sites in New York.

Upon moving to New York from Ireland with her family in 1840, Greatorex, who had already began her artistic training, studied under William Wotherspoon, William Hart, and James Hart. After her husband musician Henry Wellington Greatorex’s death in 1858, she opened a studio on Broadway in New York. Some of her paintings and pen and ink washes of New York cityscapes were executed on panels and woodwork salvaged from old historical houses and churches. Greatorex conducted art classes in her studio and taught at the Miss Henrietta Haines School while traveling frequently with her daughters to Ireland, England, Germany, and France to study landscape paintings. In 1873, publisher G.P. Putnam sent mother and daughters to Colorado, making Greatorex one of the first artists to paint the Colorado Springs area. Her work was published in Summer Etchings in Colorado, 1873. Interested in reproducing her drawings and experimenting with different forms of printmaking, Greatorex studied etching with Charles Henri Toussaint and published several portfolios including The Homes of Obermmergau, 1872, and Etchings in Nuremburg, 1875. Her etchings were exhibited at the Paris Salon, the New York Etching Club, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1882, Greatorex re-opened her studio in New York where she taught art classes and etched contemporary scenes of the city with her daughters. Four years later, they returned to Paris where they continued to capture the lively spirit of several European cities and towns.

In 1869, Greatorex was elected Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York. She was a member of several national and international artist societies including the Ladies' Art Society, the Boston Art Club, the Philadelphia Society of Artists, and the Society of American Artists. Greatorex died in 1891 in Paris.

Other Occupation(s):
Teacher, Traveler
Place(s) of Residence:
New York
Place(s) of Activity:
Where Trained/Schools:
Private lessons
Related Visual Artists:
mother and teacher of Kathleen Honora Greatorex mother and teacher of Elizabeth Eleanor Greatorex student of William W. Wotherspoon student of James M. Hart student of William Hart student of Émile Charles Lambinet student of Karl von Piloty student of Charles Henri Toussaint student of Robert Henri
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Member, Artists' Fund Society, New York, NY, USA Honorary Member, Ladies' Art Society, New York, NY, USA (ca. 1871 - 1877) Associate Member, National Academy of Design, New York, NY, USA (1869)
Earliest exhibition:
National Academy of Design, New York, NY, USA (1855)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987-1997
Related places
Paris (died at)