National Museum of Women in the Arts
Eva Watson-Schütze
1867 - 1935
Photograph of Eva Watson-Schütze, ca. 1880, by Thomas Eakins, courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Gift of Seymour Adelman
Place of Birth:
Jersey City
Phonetic Spelling:
AY-vah WAHT-sehn-SHOOTS-(uh)
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Painting, Photography
Artistic Role(s):
Painter, Photographer
Artist's Biography:
Like many late-nineteenth century photographers, Eva Watson-Schütze originally intended to become a painter. Born Eva Lawrence Watson, the native of Jersey City, New Jersey, spent six years studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, primarily with Thomas Eakins. By her late twenties, however, Watson had developed a passion for photography. Between 1894 and 1896, she shared a studio space with another Academy alumna, and the following year she opened her own Philadelphia portrait studio. Within four years, Watson had established a significant reputation as a professional photographer—exhibiting her works in the prestigious Philadelphia Salon and in group shows that traveled to London and Paris; writing articles on photography for several periodicals.

Watson married the German-born lawyer Martin Schütze in 1901, and moved to Chicago. There, Watson-Schütze’s career continued to prosper: in 1902 she was elected to membership in the Linked Ring, an important London-based organization that promoted pictorialism (emphasizing the artistic as opposed to the purely documentary aspects of photography), the next year she was a founding member of the Photo-Secession; and in 1905 she had her work exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz’s influential New York Gallery, 291.

Watson-Schütze established a new studio in Chicago and soon attracted a large and appreciative clientele for her romantic, yet powerfully composed portraits and figure studies. Beginning in 1902, she and her husband spent their summers in Woodstock, New York. Eventually Watson-Schütze lived there six months out of the year, working on photography and painting.

Other Occupation(s):
Place(s) of Residence:
Place(s) of Activity:
Atlantic City
Where Trained/Schools:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA (1883-1889)
Related Visual Artists:
student of Thomas Eakins student of Thomas Aushutz friend of Amelia van Buren friend of Gertrude Käsebier friend of Edmund Stirling friend of Alfred Stieglitz friend of Edward Steichen friend of Alvin Langdon
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Founding Member, Photo-Secession, New York, NY, USA (1902) Elected Member, Linked Ring, London, England (1901) Member, Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA (1899)
Earliest exhibition:
Philadelphia Photographic Salon, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA (1898)
NMWA exhibition(s):
A History of Women Photographers
Women Photographers in Camera Work
Artist retrospective(s):
Eva L. Watson, Camera Club of New York, New York, NY, USA (1900)
Related places
unknown (died at)
The Rose