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Edith Harland Bird Bass
Birth: May 27, 1887
Death: Mar. 23, 1950

First Lady of New Hampshire 1911 to 1913.
Married Governor Robert Perkins Bass 1912.
Related to Henry Cabot Lodge Family, North Shore, Massachusetts.
Additional information on Portrait and Family of Edith Bird Bass:

Charles Sumner Bird and His Sister Edith Bird Bass

Cecilia Beaux, American, 18551942
240.35 x 135.89 cm (94 5/8 x 53 1/2 in.)
Oil on canvas
Inscriptions: Lower left: Cecilia Beaux.
Classification: Paintings
On view in the: Shapiro Colonnade

Cecilia Beaux was renowned for her elegant depictions of America's elite, and along with John Singer Sargent she was acclaimed as one of the most brilliant portraitists of her generation. Beaux was first trained in Philadelphia and later in Paris. While most of her compatriots spent some time in the French capital, Beaux, whose father was French, felt particularly at home there and maintained French affinities throughout her life. She centered her career in Philadelphia but won national recognition, becoming a role model for aspiring women artists and one of the first women to teach at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1905 she built a summer home and studio on Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts, naming it "Green Alley." The house soon became a favorite gathering spot for the artistic community that came to Boston's North Shore each season. It also became the setting for many of Beaux's portraits of New Englanders, including this elegant image of Charles Sumner Bird and his sister Edith.

The Bird family had made their fortune in the manufacture of paper, and they owned a 194-acre estate, called "Endean," in East Walpole, Massachusetts, overlooking the Neponset River. One of the passions of the Bird family was horses, and their property included polo grounds, stables, and fields where elaborate hunts took place. Charles and Edith wear riding clothes in this elegant image, linking it to a long European heritage of full-length portraits of landed gentry dressed for the hunt. Beaux's format is traditional, and in this commissioned portrait, she painted more conservatively than she did in other works, where her interest in Impressionism is more evident. Even so, her treatment is not conventional. Instead of allowing her sitters to dominate their surroundings, she selected an elevated vantage point, silhouetting them against the shimmering studio floor and walls. The shadowy interior, which Beaux rendered with broad strokes of her brush, seems a mysterious setting for two sitters who so clearly enjoyed an active outdoor life. It is that tension, along with Beaux's energetic paint handling, that enlivens and enriches this portrait.

This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gift of Mrs. Charles Sumner Bird (Julia Appleton Bird), 1981

Family links: 
  Robert Perkins Bass (1873 - 1960)*
  Perkins Bass (1912 - 2011)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Portrait at right: Cecilia Beaux, Charles Sumner Bird and His Sister Edith Bird Bass, 1907 oil on canvas, 94 5/8 x 53 1/2 in.
Pine Hill Cemetery
Hillsborough County
New Hampshire, USA
Plot: Bass
Created by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
Record added: Sep 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41750583
Edith Harland <i>Bird</i> Bass
Added by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
Edith Harland <i>Bird</i> Bass
Added by: barbara davis
Edith Harland <i>Bird</i> Bass
Added by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
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wife of 3rd cousin 3x removed
- rickb
 Added: Apr. 22, 2014

- John Glassford
 Added: Nov. 26, 2010

- Mayflower Pilgrim 332
 Added: Nov. 26, 2010
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