Lilla Cabot Perry

Lilla Cabot Perry, (January 13, 1848 – February 28, 1933), was a painter responsible for introducing impressionism to her native United States.

Born a member of the Boston Brahmin Cabot family, socialite Lilla Cabot married Thomas Sargeant Perry (1845 – 1928), a professor of literature, with whom she had three daughters. The sister-in-law of artist John La Farge, her interest in painting led her to enroll in the Boston Cowles Art School at the age of 36. One of her teachers encouraged her study art in France, then with her family she moved to Paris where she studied art at Académie Colarossi and Académie Julian.

While in Paris, she befriended Claude Monet, and for nine summers she and her family lived near Monet's home in Giverny. In addition to purchasing his art, she adopted some of Monet's impressionist style and eventually exhibited her work at the Paris Salon.

Back in Boston, she exhibited the acquired work of Monet and other impressionists in her home. She also lectured and published essays on impressionism. In 1893, seven of her works were displayed at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

In the late 1890s, Perry's husband accepted a teaching position in Japan at Tokyo's Keiogijiku University, and for three years there she painted and absorbed Japanese influences into her own works.

Throughout her career, Lilla Cabot Perry participated in numerous arts organizations including the Guild of Boston Artists, which opened galleries to promote American painters and sculptors.